Friday, April 11, 2014

FFB: No Chance in Hell -- Nick Quarry (Marvin H. Albert)


Marvin H. Albert had great pseudonyms.  Can you think of a better one than "Nick Quarry" for a writer of hardboiled p.i. novels in the Spillane vein?  Okay, maybe you can, but "Nick Quarry" sure is a good one.  (Later on, Albert used this for a couple of "In the Tradition of the Godfather" novels for Gold Medal, too.)

The p.i. in this case is Jake Barrow, and a killer is after the daughter of his old war buddy.  The killer has just shot Jake's girlfriend in the stomach.  He's also shot Jake's buddy, and he's going to kill more before he's done.  Jake isn't happy, and he doles out a lot of punishment.  He takes a lot, too.  

One thing you can count on in nearly every Albert novel, no matter the pseudonym, is an extended chase scene, always well done, always detailed.  In this one novel, Barrow is chased into the drain tunnels under New York City.  After he gets in, no one's pursuing him, but he still has to find a way out.  It takes him fourteen pages to do it.  There's another chase at the end of the book, but this one takes place in quite a different setting: Santa Fe.  Albert must have enjoyed doing these scenes, and they're always entertaining.  

There's a lot of violence in this book.  It's the kind of book that blurb writers used to describe  by saying, "Out-Spillanes Spillane!"  I'm sure you get the idea.  There's never a dull moment, and one of the interesting things about it is the basis of the plot.  It's very up to date and might have come from last week's headlines.  Check it out.

Update: I thought I'd bring Lee Goldberg's comment up here in case some of you don't read the comments.  Here it is:  Brash Books is bringing back all of the Albert crime novels and thrillers ... Except for Tony Rome. The rights to the Tony Rome novels are held by 20th Century Fox, which is developing a new TV series version. You can find out more about Brash at www.brash-books.com and we've got a Facebook page up with some of our new book covers.  

Update: The covers are also on Pinterest.  Click here to see them.

9 comments:

George said...

I'm a big fan of Marvin H. Albert's work. I've enjoyed all the Nick Quarry books. Maybe STARK HOUSE could bring them back into print with an omnibus edition.

Unknown said...

They'll be coming back into print soon. Stay tuned!

William Patrick Maynard said...

That's great news. I've just pushed for someone to reprint the Tony Rome books as well. Nice to see someone other than the French appreciating Mr. Albert's talents.

Lee Goldberg said...

Brash Books is bringing back all of the Albert crime novels and thrillers ... Except for Tony Rome. The rights to the Tony Rome novels are held by 20th Century Fox, which is developing a new TV series version. You can find out more about Brash at www.brash-books.com and we've got a Facebook page up with some of our new book covers.

Rick Robinson said...

Bill, the 1950s crime fiction special is May 16.

I haven't read anything by Albert. There are so darn many books waiting to be read, and I'm - dammit - a slow reader.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the reminder. I moved this one up, so now I'll have to get another one for the May deal.

Lee Goldberg said...

Here are some recent Brash Books covers, if anyone is interested...

http://www.pinterest.com/brashbooks/our-brash-books/

D.A. Trappert said...

Great news about Albert being reprinted. He is a great writer, the equal of any of the Gold Medal novelists. His later Stone Angel series, set in the South of France, where he lived in his later years, is also superb.

Lee Goldberg said...

Brash Books will be reprinting the Stone Stone Angel books, too. Mr. Trappert.