SHE WAS A RAVISHING DAME WITH A SECRET FROM THE PAST, HUNTED BY A GANG OF KILLERS THAT WOULD STOP AT NOTHING TO GET WHAT THEY WANTED.
A gritty hard-boiled detective novel set in Los Angeles, 1946. Two women’s bodies are found, one floating in the Pacific Ocean, one in a dynamited house in Oklahoma. Matthew Thornton P.I. is hired to find a third girl who might be next. He finds her working at Pandora’s Box, a strip club in the seedy port town of San Pedro. She has a secret to her past and is quickly pursued by killers, recently escaped from prison. Thornton unravels her secret and her connection to the gangsters when all the girls previously worked as carnival side show strippers, preventing her from becoming victim number three.
A cold breeze rattled an empty beer can across the sidewalk startling me. My reflexes automatically squeezed Big Bertha, the .357 S&W mag. I carried for extra insurance nestled in a shoulder rig under my left arm. I reached inside my overcoat pocket and tapped out a Lucky, snapped open my lighter and sucked in the pungent aroma.
I eyed a couple of lowlifes appearing to be drunks propping each other up under a dingy street lamp across the street. I sensed that I’d been shadowed right from the start on this job, but could never make out who or where they were. This time it was different. I flicked the smoke into the gutter, gave a quick scan around the deserted shops, darkened alleys and the few nearly empty entertainment joints glowing in the distance for any others and set myself for possible trouble. The two ugly looking bums were shabbily dressed, reeked of booze and paused as they approached. I eyed their reflection in a closed shop window and it wasn’t a pretty sight, as they pretended to be preoccupied with their quest for an empty alley to flop in for the night. I wasn’t falling for it.
“The ghost of Mickey Spillane haunts the pages of this wonderful crime novel ...”—Robert Grbavac, Screenplay Writer
“...hits a homerun … a page-turner that will take you on the ride of your life.” —Frank J. Grady, Author of Mermaid Jewels.
"… his hard-boiled, Sam Spade styled private-eye, Matt Thornton, who is more than up to the task you'll want to read it at one sitting."— Mark Sadler, author of Kettle of Vultures
"… 1940s Southern California-to the steamy days and nights of dames, dives and detectives..."—Christopher Lentz, author
“Revisit the era of the hard boiled P.I. and prepare yourself for a wild, action-packed ride ...—Mike Befeler, author of Death of a Scam Artist, The Tesla Legacy and the Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series.
"… plenty of action ...will appeal to many readers who like their crime fiction a bit on the lighter side."—James L. Thane, author of "Until Death"