James Hadley Chase – I’ll Bury My Dead
Apparently when Harlequin Press originally started publishing in the 1950s, they released gritty, somewhat salacious detective fiction. Chase’s I’ll Bury My Dead is a prime example with twisty plotting; dirty police and pols; shady women; an anti-hero hero; and creepy, twisted murders. Nick English, a self-made millionaire teetering between shady and legit, finds his nogoodnik brother has committed suicide (no wait, a clever murder), his mistress is hiding a dark secret, his trashy sister-in-law is thirsty for revenge, and a clever homicidal maniac is popping off victims for frame job tailor made for Mr. English. With the help of his tough, smart-mouth shamus ally Ed Leon; expert and maybe shady lawyer Simon Crail; resourceful driver Chuck; and smart, indestructible Gal Friday Lois Marshall, Nick navigates the dangerous shoals of pathological and corrupt opponents spinning webs of razor sharp threads. There are some vicious and gruesome murders in here, so be advised if you want to read this book. It’s just as gritty as some of the black and white film noir of the fifties like Brute Force or The Big Combo. You could definitely see Richard Conte, Frank Lovejoy, or Charles McGraw starring in a film version of this novel.