Archive for murder fiction

Carnal Rage by Jerry M. Goff, Jr. (Merit Books, 1962)

Posted in crime noir, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , on December 26, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

I have curiously intrigued by the books from Jerry M. Goff, Jr., since reading Thrill Crazy, Wanton Wench!, and others, and the scandal of the plagarism from Prather books. Carnal Rage has to be the best of them so far.

This short 30,000 word novel is narrated by an auto mechanic named Roscoe, a quite and quietly insane person who now and then gets an uncontrolable urge to rape and murder women.  His boss throws an engagement party for a fellow mechanic who is getting married to gorgeus Marcie who Roscoe thinks is too uppity with her good looks and strong perfume. After the party, he slips out of the apartment and spies on her, then follows her and rapes her in a park. It is a brutal and violent rape. Marcie is a virgin but she seems to turn passionate; she urges Roscoe to rape her hard and good, her face bloody…this is most likely Roscoe’s delusion. He leaves her near dead. Later, she is in the hosptal with broken bones and comatose.

He lives with Ann, a homely girl who is afraid she may lose him — she has followed him on three moves t different cites. In Cleveland and Pittsburgh, he raped and murdered, and afraid te cops might track him, he always moves and Ann follows. A mechanic can get work anywhere.

The cops question everyone who was at the party. Roscoe learns a stripper in a near by club has briefly seen him. Worried she might identify him, Roscoe tracks her down and rapes and kills her too.

His rambings are Thompson-esque, like The Killer Inside Me. Or maybe Gordon Lish’s Dear Mr. Capote. Roscoe does not believe there is anything wrong with him, and has no moral issues with his capitol crimes: he sees himself as a regular guy who has these crazy urges and needs now and then and he has to act on them as if it were natural.

Ann finds out the truth, but she stands by him. She offers herself::”If you need t rape someone, raoe me.” But he cannot. He loves her in his own weird way.

The wrap-up is hokey and illogical but this was still a guilty pleasure of a manic read.

Sin Hellion by Dan Eliot aka Robert Silverberg (Ember Book #913, 1963)

Posted in crime noir, Harry Whittington, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , on July 3, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

David Wilson told me that when he and Lynne Munroe were seeking out Harry Whittington’s “Missing 38,” that Sin Hellion by Dan Eliot was on the list of contenders.

Robert Silverberg has stated on his Yahoo Fan Group that, aside from one book he had ghosted because he couldn’t meet a deadline, that no one else but himself ever wrote under the Don Elliott/Dan Eliot byline.

Dan Eliot was a slight change that William Hamling employed for a period in 1963, probably for reasons over a legal case of censorship and obscenity (Andrew Shaw was Andrew Shole, John Dexter John Baxter, Alan Marshall was Alan Marsh, etc).

It’s easy to see why one might believe Sin Hellion is a Lost Whittington — it’s about a half-crazed woman seeking revenge, and her name is Lora (Whittington’s heroines are often Nora, Cora, Dora, etc.)  The “hero” is a bartender named Harry, and Whittington often used “Harry” in pen-named books., as a pointer to himself.  The tone is gritty helplessness and loneliness a la Whittington noir.

Harry Donalds is a loner, a lowly bartender, closing in on middle age, getting by on $79.50 a week in New York.  Opening chapter, a gorgeous young woman wanders into the bar, named Lora, with the intent of drinking herself into oblivion with her last $5.

Both concerned and on the prowl for pussy, Harry talks her into going out for a bite to eat so she can tell him her woes and cry on his shoulder. She’s grateful for the kindness.  She tells him that she was the mistress of a rich stockbroker, Roy Brochard, who had promised her he’d divorce his plump wife ad marry her.  But she gets dumped, with $5 left to her name…

She’s been walking all day in the Manhattan heat (shades of Thirst for Love come to play) and needs a shower. Can she use his?  Sure.  Ca she live with him until she gets back on her feet?  Sure.  Can she make love to him for this?  Absolutely.

For the next week, Harry lives in bliss, as Lora stays home, cleans up the place, has dinner waiting after work, and keeps him company under the sheets. He can’t believe his good luck.  All is well except for the lesbian, Carlotta, who lives a foor below and who has designs of the third way on Lora…

And he doesn’t like how Lora constantly talks about Roy and his money and their trips on his yacht and impromptu jaunts to Europe.  How can he compete with such a man?  What does she see in him and his $79.50 a week?

And then one day Harry comes home and sees a big hunting knife on the table.  What the hell?  Lora tells him she bought it to kill Roy, for what she did to him, and to stop him from ever hurting another girl — she spotted him coming out of his office and meeting a fresh blonde 2-year-old, and now she knows he goes from one girl to the other, romancing them, promising them the world, and dumping them when he gets bored.

She wants Harry to alibi her — she was at his bar the time of the murder, and she came home with him. But Harry refuses. He won;t get fried for accessory to homicide.  He tells her to either forget her murder plot or leave.

She leaves.

But she comes back a few days later.  She says she will not kill Roy, but she does. He hears about it on the news.  So now he has to alibi her, and he comes up with a good one that gets the suspicion off her.

Their next sex session gets violent.  She says she’s been bad and needs to be punished. Angry with her, Harry goes overboard, slapping and punching and basically raping her, way beyond the spanking sessions they’ve engaged in. It’s quite the sado-masochistic scene; Harry worries he hurt her too much but she says she liked it…

She was begging for it. He could see the craving in her face [...] He slapped her breasts until they were red all over. He slapped her in the face. He punched her in the stomach, hard, half burying his fist. She doubled up,  gagging and retching, and he spun her around while she huddled, bringing his knees up for a swift kick at the base of he spine.

Donalds leaped at her.

“Yes lover!” she moaned, half in ecstasy and half in agony. “Yes! Yes!”

He hurt her.

He mauled her. (p. 149-50)

Not your feminist sex scene here…but the scene is vital to the changes in the characters, and explains Lora’s state of mind better.  The rest of the sex scenes, however, all feel like padding, the required scene for the genre.

She wants to marry him as a reward.  But…if she killed a man once, will she do it again?  There’s a “shocker” surprise ending but I won’t spoil it…an ending that is Whittington-esque.

A fine little novel in the Trapped and Manhunt style.

A Girl Called Honey – Sheldon Lord & Alan Marshall/aka Lawrence Block & Donald Westlake (Midwood #41, 1960)

Posted in Lawrence Block, Midwood Books, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

We know that Donald Westlake sometimes contributed to an Andrew Shaw novel or three, and that the Sheldon Lord moniker was shared.  Here, we have Block and Westlake having their pen names collaborate — adding in a cute dedication:

this is for

DON WESTLAKE AND LARRY BLOCK

who introduced us

This is like K.M. O’Donnell once claiming that his pen name was Barry N. Malzberg!

Another little tidbit — a character in the story signs into a hotel under an alias: Andrew Shaw. “Call me Andy,” he says.

There aren’t any of the other clues such as references to Clifton College of The Sound of Distant Drums. It does start off in Ohio, where the fictional Clifton College, and major events happen in Albany, NY, where Block hails from.

This is an early work for both these writerly friends and co-workers in the Scott Meredith Agency fee department,and it shows. But it’s not a bad novel; it’s slow to start, but you get sucked in by the characters, and things get gradually bleak and the damn thing sticks in your head all night long…

Honour Mercy Bane–nickname “Honey”–is a small town girl from Kentucky who makes her way to Newport, Ohio, a town outside Cincinnati.

And Newport, fair city that it is, has everything that Cincinnati lacks. Cathouses by the dozens. Gambling dens by the score,  a pusher on every corner, and bootleg whiskey sold over the counter in every drugstore. (p. 10)

She was kicked out of her home by her religious parents, Abhraham and Prudence Bane, when they come one unexpected one day and ind her in the act of coitus with her lover, who happens to be one of her teachers at the high school.  “Go to Newport and be a bad girl,” they tell her, disowning her.

So she does.

Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 72 other followers