I actually read Aleas' second John Blake novel, Songs of Innocence, first, and found it to be one of my favorite of the contemporary entries in the Hard Case Crime series, mostly reprints of lost noir with attractive retro pulp covers. As well it should be, as Richard Aleas is actually Charles Ardai, the editor of Hard Case Crime and no slouch himself, as it turns out, in hard-boiled writing.
In fact, his John Blake mysteries are pretty seamy and downbeat, even by the high standards of the Hard Case Crime line. Overall, the two Aleas books are among the stronger on the contemporary side of the Hard Case Crime house.
I checked this out from the Morrison-Reeves Public Library in Richmond, Indiana, and was surprised to find it amidst their small paperback collection.