Violent Desires – Fred Martin (Magnet Book #310, 1960)

After discovering that Midwood’s Hired Lover by Fred Martin was actually an Orrie Hitt book, there was some speculation that the Fred Martin Magnet title, Violent Desires, was also Hitt, and this was a whole unknown Hitt pen name.  Magnet also published a book by a “Richard Challon” — was this connected to David Challon and Robert Silverberg?  Silverberg said no, the only Magnet he published was The Hot Beat as Stan Vincent — seems the publisher of Magnet Books picked his own pen names for purchased manuscripts as he chose “Charles Williams” for Fires of Youth.  This makes me wonder if the publisher was picking names that were close to 1959 titles seen on the stands — Hired Lover, any Charles Williams Gold Medal title, and David Challon’s Bedside titles…

Eagerly, I sought out a copy of Violent Desires and found one for $17 from Graham Holroyd, one of my favorite paperback booksellers (I make an order at least once a week) — seemed worth finding out on an unknown book; alas, I am sad to report that this Fred Martin is not rrie Hitt.

Violent Desires is a Manhunt-style crime novel, as is Silverberg’s Hot Beat, riddled with some unfortunate bad dialogue — too muc use of Brooklyn gangster cheesy dialect of the “youse” variety.

A former underground-type wanton dame, Victioria, calls on her old detective pal Benny to help her — she’s about to get married to a wealthy New York society fellow who has no idea of her sordid past; someone is blackmailing her: pay up or her husband-to-be will get some embarrassing photos o her having sex.  A vintage take on old nude photos popping up online or on cell phones, coming back to haunt youse…

I couldn’t get too far into this one as it gets confusing and the bad dialogue was driving me batty.  Great cover, though, and collectible for being published by the mysterious, short-lived Magnet Books.

One Response to “Violent Desires – Fred Martin (Magnet Book #310, 1960)”

  1. Have recently been reading your blog (love it!), and I have a question for you — could you drop me a note, so I can ask you via e-mail?

    Many thanks,
    Charles Ardai
    Editor, Hard Case Crime

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