Friday, September 24, 2010

Forgotten Books: NIGHT NEVER ENDS -- Fredrick Lorenz

This book fooled me. I've read several of Frederick Lorenz's books (here's a link to another one I wrote about for FFB). All that I've read were crime novels, and I thought this one would be, too. The beginning is right out of James M. Cain. Luke Fogarty is looking for a job as a photographer. He goes to a run-down studio to apply for a job and is instantly attracted to Belle, the beautiful blonde (not the brunette of the cover, obviously) who greets him. It turns out that she has a husband, George, who's a sloppy photographer, a drunk, and a guy who can't keep his hands off women. Or girls, for that matter.

So I thought I knew what would happen, but it never did. This is more or less Lorenz's attempt at a mainstream "problem" novel. Belle is loyal to George, though she doesn't love him, and there's no hint of a murder plot. There's craziness with another character, but once again, things don't take a criminous turn. The only criminal is George, who winds up fleeing the cops in the end to give Belle and Luke their chance.

Lorenz's writing is sharp, particularly in the opening scenes, and the '50s blue-collar setting is very well done. The psychology is very '50s, though the dangers of religious fanaticism that one character exhibits seem all too contemporary.


pattinase (abbott) said...

The cover sure would fool me too.

Todd Mason said...

Well, cf course, that was the aim of paperback covers of the decade...implying salaciousness, or strangeness, or both. Hence the misuse of "paperback" a while back for what we misuse "pulp" for now.

Sounds like it would fit Otto Penzler's definition of crime ficiton, and mine...though as usual I'd quibble with the notion of a "mainstream" it's a part of by being Not CF...not too shabby, though, eh?

Evan Lewis said...

"The Strangest Marriage Ever"? You think so??