RARA-AVIS: Re: Cleve Adams in New Mexico

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 02 Apr 2004

Here are a couple of quotes from THE PRIVATE EYE (1942) by Cleve F. Adams:

| "Hello, Shannon." The tightly drawn bodice of her pale gold frock gave
| her body the perfection of a Vargas creation. Her eyes were the color
| of sea at great depths. In them was the restless urgency of the sea,
| and a cynical awareness of life, and intelligence and the veiled
| suggestion of an emerald flame which lit an answering flame in Shannon.
| Her voice was even richer than he had remembered it. "Been playing with
| matches again?"

| Shannon kissed her. He could not have done anything else. If she had
| had a knife in each hand, and intended to bury them both in his back,
| he could not have done anything else. After a while he pushed her
| away. "Christ!"

It's set in Los Cruces, Arizona (not New Mexico). John J. Shannon, cop turned PI, heads there (on a bus with a bunch of "sweating hunkies") to investigate the death of the husband of a beautiful woman he once knew. Los Cruces is a mining town up in the mountains, but don't read this for descriptions of landscapes, or, for that matter, good writing.

Shannon starts meeting people on the bus, and after a night in town the book is jammed with so many folks they can't be kept straight. It quickly turns into a RED HARVEST arrangement where the two men fighting to be town boss each try to hire him. Shannon gets in some fights, has a bomb thrown at him, meets some gorgeous women, runs into trouble with the chief of police, and all the usual stuff. I gave up after about fifty pages.

Here's the back cover blurb, from Signet #1405, a 1957 reprint:

| The town of Los Cruces was enjoying booming business in vice when J.J.
| Shannon, a hardboiled private cop, moved in to check a fishy suicide.
| But when he kidnapped the mayor, caught the police chief in a bribe
| trap, and managed to get control of the local paper in a fight for
| justice, he blew the lid off this lawless mining town. Shannon had to
| dodge lead from a dozen racketeers while he used three beautiful,
| dangerous dames to trap a cunning syndicate killer!


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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