A lot of the Nightstand books by Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake, and others are really crime novels masquerading as soft-core, early Sixties porn. Although there are some drug pushers in it, LOVE ADDICT, Robert Silverberg's first novel under the Don Elliott pseudonym, doesn't really qualify as a crime novel. It's more of a noir-tinged romance, as nice guy hero Jim Holman, who is being divorced by his shrew of a wife, falls for nightclub singer Helene Raymond. Helene was hooked on heroin by her musician ex-boyfriend, but Jim thinks he can save her from her addiction. Not much actually happens in this book, but it races by anyway thanks to Silverberg's clean, polished prose and his evocative portrayal of New York City as both glittering metropolis and squalid hellhole. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and intend to dig out more of the Nightstand books that I own.
(This post originally appeared in different form on March 15, 2005. I have indeed read more Nightstand books in the years since then, but not as many as I would have liked to. I need more hours in the day . . .)