Friday, October 17, 2014
Forgotten Books: Blondes Die Young - Bill Peters (William P. McGivern)
(This post originally appeared in somewhat different form on August 7, 2005)
I’ve had two copies of this novel, the original paperback edition and a later edition, on my shelves for years, long enough that I don’t remember where or when I got them.
This is a good hardboiled novel about Philadelphia private eye Bill Canalli, who goes to visit a girl in Chicago and winds up in the middle of a vengeance quest to bust up the largest drug ring in the Midwest. I know it’s a cliché, but I like a private eye book where the hero gets hit on the head, and Canalli gets clouted several times in this one. There’s plenty of action, some nice observations on human nature, and a twisty plot. The surprise ending isn’t really much of a surprise, but it’s still effective. This is actually the first mystery novel by McGivern that I’ve read (I read his World War II novel SOLDIERS OF ’44 several years ago). BLONDES DIE YOUNG is good enough that I want to read more of his hardboiled stuff.
UPDATE: I no longer have the two copies of this book that I mentioned, of course, but I have a few others by McGivern. I've even read one or two of them. And I'll read more by him one of these days, if I get around to it. My plan was to slow down a little on my writing next year so I could read more and do some other stuff, but that's pretty much out the window. Now I'm shooting for 2016...)