Sinville – Dean Hudson aka Evan Hunter – Nightstand, 1962
Evan Hunter (The Blackboard Jungle) was a wonderful paperback hack in his career and wrote under many pen names, mostly know for Ed McBain. Few seem to know he penned 20 books for William Hamling as Dean Hudson. Thse Hudsons published after 1964 are not his.
Sinville is quite the find. I have had this one lying around for two years, not sure where I got it or how much I paid, but it is listing for $90 online.
This has Hunter’s tough, hardboiled style written all over it. The narrator is an interesting character: clean-cut, boyish-looking, wears a suit, carries an umbrella, Harvard educated, and a stone cold ruthless criminal and killer. He breezes into Sinville, part of Centre City, and quickly takes over the territory by shooting the neighborhood boss. Then he kills the area boss. He beds a few women, keeps on killing, keeps on moving up…meanwhile, he has to contend with a millionaire do-gooder out to clean up all the hooking, drug-selling and sundicate influence in Centre City. He is in for quite a surprise when he finds out who exactly runs the crime ring. This is pure Manhunt-style stuff.
The sex scenes are a different fair than the usual Nightstands, where an encounter is tossed in every other chapter. Hunter/Hudson devotes entire chapters to one sex act, going into sensual, almost poeic detail of every movement, kiss, and penetration. Nothing tedious, and gives the story a curious flow as other chapters have the guy shooting, cutting and strangling one person after the other.
This is the first Dean Hudson I have read and I will certainly be reading many more.