Friday, July 22, 2011

Forgotten Books: Cain's Woman -- O. G. Benson

This was O. G. Benson's only crime novel, and it's a good one. Max Raven is a private-eye whose client is a beautiful woman. She's paying someone who has pornographic photos of her, and she wants Raven's help. So right away you're thinking, I've read this one before.

Well, maybe not. The setup is familiar, but the way it plays out isn't. Sure, Raven gets involved with the woman. Sure, she tells him lies. Sure, he turns up things that he didn't expect to find. But the way this one plays out isn't the usual way at all.

Benson writes well, and he's in control all the way here, right up to the starkly noir (and maybe a bit sentimental) ending. This is prime stuff.

The edition I have is apparently a bit pricey, but the book was reprinted as Cain's Wife (more PC?), and copies of that one are dirt cheap if you want to take a chance and read it.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the heads up.

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  2. Anonymous7:38 AM

    OK, I ordered a copy. I know I used to have the original edition but somewhere along the line...

    Jeff

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  3. One of the great PI novels and I consider it a classic. I love the opening paragraph

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  4. I'll have to track down a copy. Love the cover!

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