Call Me Bad by Orrie Hitt (Beacon Books, 1960)
After reading a slew of bad Orrie Hitt titles recently, it was good to pick up a decent one. This is another novel centered around one of his favorite settings, a sleazy hotel where illicit crime happens, mostly prostitution. A woman named Ma runs the hotel and several girls who live there, with the help of the elevator boy who procure customers for the girls.
One is 20 year old Sherry Jenkins, who sells her body because she was gang raped at 17 and vows all men must pay…except for this married traveling salesman she thinks she is in love with, and he has no idea what she really does.
Sherry takes care of her alcohlic father, why she does not know because he says he was never sure if he was her father. Then her father fgets an 18 year old girl pregnant and she puts up the money for an abortion, which is botched, and the girl dies, and the police start doing a crack down, and she gets arrested…
There are some flaws in this short novel but they are minor, so it is a good read. Like many Hitt characters, the people in this book are all desperate, in pain inside, and down in the gutter…kind of a sad read.