Pickup – Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Sundown Reader, 1964)

A nice crime noir from Silverberg toward the end of his stint with Greenleaf Cornith. This one is about a criminal, Jimmy, traveling across the U.S., going from one woman to another, robbng gas stations and stores for money. He is running away from a painful break-up; he was with Maureen, a woman he loved, for years, and one day he catches her in bed with another woman. He is a bit oif an old-fashioned prude, lesbians make him sick. Now he hurts women to get back at Maureen, or all of womankind, “you witches are all the same” — he makes women fall for him, then he leaves them heartbroken the way he was.

Until he meets a hooker in a hotel bar, Helena, and the table gets turned…right off she pegs him as a killer, especially when she finds his gun with the silencer. As the cover blurb states: “Passion threw him into a cesspool of sin!”

Well, a fun read, as always with the Don Elliotts.


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