Friday, February 04, 2011

Forgotten Books: Backfire -- Dan J. Marlowe

Marty Donovan is a cop who happens to be in love with Lenore, his partner's wife. When the two cops can't crack a tough case, Lenore suggests a stakeout that's not approved the the department. Her husband is killed, and Marty begins a complicated cover-up as the tries to find the killer.

There's plenty of action and atmosphere, some nice old-time procedural details, and enough red herrings to keep you guessing about the outcome. While Backfire isn't up there with Marlowe's best work for Gold Medal (it reminded me a bit of his early Avon books), it's still an entertaining crime novel.


  1. Anonymous7:59 AM

    Just received the Black Mask reprint from Amazon and am looking forward to reading it. You can also download as a free ebook from

    Original copies of this book are going for $50 on abebooks compared to $11 for the reprint.


  2. I tracked down BACKFIRE after I read Dan J. Marlowe's THE NAME OF THE GAME IS DEATH. I didn't know there was a Black Mask reprint.

  3. Scott Cupp9:09 AM

    Wonderful stuff. I really love MArlowe's work.

  4. Wonder if he got the idea from The Maltese Falcon?

  5. Possible, but the cop's reason for finding the killer isn't loyalty to his partner so much as saving his own rear.