Friday, June 30, 2023

#13: The Inside Man by E Richard Johnson

Good cop Tony Lonto tries to clean up a lot of bad people in E. Richard Johnson's incredibly hard-boiled 60s crime novel The Inside Man.

Lonto has to go up against the criminal underworld and, reluctantly, bad eggs in his own department.

As tough-minded as any crime novel I've read, not surprising when I learned that Johnson had written primarily from behind bars, serving long sentences for robbery and murder.  Apparently his output from Stillwater Prison was short but explosive, so I will definitely be on the lookout for more of his work.

I got this surprisingly dark and tight outing from a mixed bundle of books and read it quickly on a camping trip.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

#12: The Garrard Heritage by Marshall Grover

A dying gunslinger convinces a pair of good-hearted cowpokes to help the family he left behind in Marshall Grover's The Garrard Heritage.

Grover was really Australian author Len Meares, who wrote "Larry and Streak" westerns, "Big Jim" westerns, and lots and lots of others in his prolific career.  

Larry and Streak are comedically laconic, but also with an almost supernatural ability to fight rooms full of owlhoots and shoot without a miss.  Some editions call them "Larry and Stretch" and appear under "Marshall McCoy," confounding everything further.

To me, these are very rare to find in the wild, so I was happy to luck into this at a goodbye price at a used book shop.  They are meant to read quickly and enjoy, as I did on a camping trip.