Freshly back in the U.S. after a tour in Korea, a young man gets in a fender-bender where he meets a lovely young woman and her hot-headed boyfriend; he loves one on sight and hates the other on sight, leading to plenty of trouble in John McPartland's Big Red's Daughter.
McPartland writes a super-charged noir where destructive emotions run high from the first page; it appears that McPartland himself lived a similar life and died young.
But he seemed to have left a number of memorable novels. This one paints a picture of a bohemian 50s California that is fully realized as a backdrop to a pretty brutal story; there are a number of grisly fights, terrorized women, a handful of murders, and a jailbreak, all before a conclusion that makes a turn and wraps up more upbeat than one would think.
This was a rapid-fire read and a nice surprise from Stark House Press, which is dedicated to bringing back more obscure and out-of-print crime, detective, and noir books from the past.
I would definitely recommend this in any edition you can find it in for noir fans, and will be checking out more of John McPartland.