Saturday, July 29, 2023

#15: Run for the Money by Robert Colby

A down on his luck guy comes across a small fortune in stolen money dropped after an armored car heist, but the crooks are hot on his trail, in Robert Colby's Run for the Money.

He gives up a dead-end job and flies out to LA to start all over with work and women, only to find out his new girlfriend could be used as leverage against him.  This one has crackling action all the way to its denouement.

Colby has been somewhat rediscovered recently for a brace of hard-nosed pulp novels entering reprint, and this is no exception, a tale that becomes more nihilistic as it rockets to its conclusion.

I got this one in a batch of assorted paperbacks and read it quickly on vacation.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

#14: Submarine Killer by Aal Christiansen

In the heat of World War II, a damaged ship with an injured captain fights to stay afloat in Aal Christiansen's Submarine Killer.

I don't know who Christiansen is, but his writing has the realism to make me think he could have been a veteran himself (this was written in the 60s).  Whether he was or not, he knows how to write combat action, and plenty of it.

This was another Spitfire book I acquired, a pocket digest-sized edition--with illustrations--apparently for the young adult market.  

But I found this to be completely readable as an adult, and I consumed it quickly on a camping trip.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

#14: Gun Trail to Sedalia by Ross Woods

A cowboy comes home to find his homestead sold in a suspicious deal with his brother, leading to a breakneck race to stop the sale, in Ross Woods' Gun Trail to Sedalia.

I got a handful of these Spitfire books in a lot from eBay, after reading about them online.  They are in a unique pocket digest format and were written for the young adult market.

I didn't find this one noticeably for young adults, with our protagonist using a judicious amount of dynamite to solve modest problems and steady gunplay throughout.  It leans heavily into the action and includes the old friend of 60s TV and movies, quicksand.  I've wondered why quicksand doesn't play as big a role in contemporary storytelling anymore.

I read this very quickly on a camping trip and enjoyed it as a solid western.  I'll be diving into more of these Spitfire books soon.