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Alex came innocently into the house. His friend had a mysterious sickness. Alex did not know that the sickness was in a woman's soul, and that he would almost die of it, too. Still another big printing of the high-octane novel that had all America talking and enthralled millions by Gil Brewer, author of Some Must Die and A Killer Is Loose.
It began here for Baron - the whole grotesque skein of terror - here in this Marseilles street of despair, the street called the Rue Paradís. There was Gorssmann, fat and corrupt, who waited until Baron scraped bottom - and then blackmailed him into treason. And Lili, the dark, lovely gain, who fell in love with Baron - and worked for the man determined to destroy him. Altogether for Frank baron it was a small hell on the street called Paradise...
The willowy blonde, in a fluffy white skirt, stood over him. She was smoking a cigarette through the black mask that covered her face. "Hello, honey," she said softly. "Do you like me?" She knelt on one knee. Her hand caressed his cheek, the other hand holding the cigarette. As the blonde kissed him on the mouth she ground her cigarette into his fleash. He yelled, but she kept up the kissing and the burning. "Atta girl! Give it to him again!" one of the boys shouted. "Next?" They were teen-agers--kids. But they were capable of anything. And one of them had been capable of murder!
She was even lovelier than my memory of her. I watched her as she walked into the room, admiring the smooth movement of her fine legs and the curves under the soft weave of her sweater. She tossed her thick dark hair back and walked over to me. "It's been a long time, Al." Her voice still had the husky breathless sound that made my ears burn. I stepped close to her and put my hands on her waist. Her head went back, her eyes shining at me with bitterness and confusion and something else I couldn't read. I drew her to me and felt the soft impact of her body and kissed her--her throat and then her lips. Her mouth opened and her body abandoned itself to mine, her fingernails digging at my back.
"What I can't stand is knowing she's out right now playing around." The tall, heavy-set man stared at me, his eyes burning a hole in my bullet-proof vest. "Trail her every minute, Morgan. Every minute. Don't let her out of your sight!" It was the easiest assignment in years. I'm Morgan--and I'm one of the guys she played with. The trouble came later--when I found out that her game was MURDER--and I was picked for the fall guy!
She looked at the rotting, sun-blasted shack, the one room where they all lived, slept, made love, died. Looked at the dusty lawn where no grass grew. At the steaming swamp, at her tobacco-spitting mother. Saw the sly, lustful eyes of her father's friends. Then she looked at her own lush beauty. Get me out of here, she prayed. Oh, please get me out of here! I'll pay any price.
What beautiful 18-year-old would want to spend her life taking care of an invalid? Not Shirley Angela. But that's the life she was trapped in - until she met Jack. Now Shirley and Jack have a plan to put the old man out of his misery and walk away with a suitcase full of cash. But there's nothing like money to come between lovers - money, and other women...
He shot Jake Halloran in the head, then turned to me, smiling, the Luger held loosely in his right hand. "Hello, pal," he said. "My name's Ralph Angers. What's yours?" That's how I met him, this grave-looking, clean-cut, totally mad young man, who walked through my town with a gun, leaving a wake of tears and agony and murder behind him.
Where was he? Why was he here, with this kid? What had he done?Hazily he watched her come toward him, saw her hips sway beneath flimsy lace, the swell of full breasts in the skimpy bra. "How did we get here?" he demanded. She laughed "Dont you remember, honey? You kidnapped me . . . and . . . " Remember? He remembered that she had cost him his job. Dimly he recalled cursing her out in a dozen bars, getting blind drunk. And he had a vague memory of her behind the wheel of a car. She had kidnapped him Now she was missing, and the cops would be hot on the trail. Which story would they swallow-his or hers? He saw her angelic smile and knew the answer. He was trapped. "Come on, Gary," she said. "Lets have some fun. "
Two frantic noir thrillers from 1959 and 1961 from an author about whom Bill Pronzini had this to say: "He produced some of the most compelling noir softcover originals of the 1950's. "
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