Friday, March 03, 2017

FFB: The Pale Door -- Lee Roberts (Robert Martin)

Robert Martin wrote some fine private-eye books under his own name, but for this one he chose to use his Lee Roberts pseudonym.  If you ever do pick up a copy of the paperback pictured here, you should not read the blurb on the front, which gives away too much, and you should totally avoid the one on the back, which gives away everything.  Why would anyone do something like that?  Obviously he (or she) was a terrible person.

Having ignored the blurbs, you'll find a fast-moving and entertaining novel.  Chad Proctor is the head of a regional branch of a national private-investigation firm.  A friend of his, a doctor, hires him and his firm to watch over his wife, an alcoholic, for a week or so until he can get his practice in shape for him to take her on a vacation in an attempt to set things right.  Then the doctor is murdered.

The are a couple of complications, including the fact that Proctor's own love life is in a mess.  The woman he was planning to ask to marry him is suddenly engaged to someone else, someone who's a real lowlife and who's somehow involved with the doctor's wife.

The writing is smooth and the pacing is just right.  The book's very short, only 118 pages, a nice afternoon's reading.  But don't look at those blurbs.


August West said...

I've read a few of his Jim Bennett PI novels and remember some of them featured characters that were doctors also. The heading up a PI firm/doctor client link must of been a favorite of his. I really enjoyed those Jim Bennett paperbacks.

George said...

I'm with you on SPOILERS. I hate them! It's gotten so bad, I refuse to read movie reviews until AFTER I've seen the film. Too many reviews (both book and movie) ruin the experience by giving TOO MUCH AWAY!

Jeff Meyerson said...

I agree. Bad inaccurate blurbs are terrible, but giving away important plot points is inexcusable.

Mathew Paust said...

The cover art looks familiar. Similar to the old Donald Hamilton Matt Helm series.

Don Coffin said...

I thought it looked a lot like the covers of some of the paperback editions of Frances & Richard Lockridge's Mr. & Mrs. North books.