Friday, August 06, 2010

Forgotten Books: ONE FOR HELL -- Jada Davis

This is a repeat of a "Forgotten Books" post from 2008. I'm repeating it because there's some good news. Stark House will reprint this book in October. You know you'll want a copy.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Revenge by Jack Ehrlich was in a class with Jim Thompson's work and Dan J. Marlowe's Vengeance Man. Another book that can sit proudly on the shelf with those is One For Hell by Jada Davis.

Here's what I said about it a while back on
The Rap Sheet's special issue on overlooked books: One for Hell (1952), by Jada M. Davis. “I sometimes think the only reason this book hasn’t received a lot more attention is that Fawcett published it in a Red Seal edition rather as a Gold Medal Original, probably because it’s a bit too long for the GM format. A boxcar bum named Willa Ree enters a small town with the intention of picking it clean, and in the process all kinds of secrets and corruption come to light. It’s a fine noir story with a powerful ending that Jim Thompson would have been proud to have written.”

I don't think I can improve on that description. I'll add, however, that Jada Davis was the brother of Jack Davis, with whom I collaborated on that American classic (and, I have to say, justly overlooked) The Coyote Connection.

10 comments:

  1. Do you have an biographical information of Jada Davis?

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  2. do you have any biographical information on Jada Davis?

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  3. I knew his brother, but that's about it. Stark House has been in touch with his son and will reprint ONE FOR HELL, maybe next year.

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  4. Anonymous7:41 AM

    THE COYOTE CONNECTION is an unrecognized classic.

    Jeff

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  5. There'll be some biographical info in the Stark House edition. I agree that ONE FOR HELL is a great book and will probably do a Forgotten Books post of my own about it later on. I have Davis's only other published novel but haven't read it yet.

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  6. I loved THE COYOTE CONNECTION.

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  7. That's great news. Forgotten no more perhaps.

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  8. I'll be buying this.

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  9. I'm one of Jada's granddaughters, and I'm thrilled to read good press about his work. It's great to see the old cover again, I remember it clearly from my childhood, although I was certainly forbidden from reading it at the time...

    I never met his brother Jack (or, if I did, I was far too young to remember), was he as creative and witty as Jada? I sure hope it runs in the family!

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  10. Jack was a great guy. His wife and son still live in Brownwood, TX.

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