Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bonus FFB on Wednesday: Kiss Off the Dead -- Garrity

Garrity was David J. Gerrity, who also wrote as Dave J. Garrity.  He was pals with Mickey Spillane, who helped him get into the writing game and who provided blurbs for some of Gerrity's later novels, which were put out by Spillane's paperback publisher, Signet.  Kiss off the Dead was Gerrity's first novel, and it's very much in the Spillane vein.

Max Carey is an ex-cop, booted off the force for taking kickbacks.  He's been honest for most of his career, but his wife is very demanding, and he needs more and more money.  Finally he weakens, and almost as soon as he gets the boot, his wife leaves him.  He goes looking for her to get revenge, and after a long search (three years) he finds her in one of those Florida towns that crops up in a lot of paperback crime fiction, corrupt to the core.  She claims she still loves him, and there's a passionate reunion, after which she turns up dead.  

You know the drill.  The cops are after Carey, the local rackets guys are after Cary, and it's all he can do to keep ahead of them.  Luckily he meets a hat-check girl named Sherry, who falls for him immediately, as often happens in this kind of book, and who helps him out.  Carey is hardboiled and tough, the book is full of action, and [SPOILER ALERT] the resolution is very much of a Spillanean nature [END OF SPOILER ALERT].

Not one of the best Gold Medals, but enjoyable enough and a quick read.  Garrity did another one (Cry Me a Killer) for Gold Medal before moving to Signet, where he published a private-eye novel about a character named Peter Braid.  I read it long ago and remember nothing about it.  He also wrote some Mafia novels and auto-racing novels for Signet that I haven't read.


August West said...

"one of those Florida towns that crops up in a lot of paperback crime fiction, corrupt to the core." - Bill you hit the nail on the head with that line. Must be because many of these writers lived there or wintered there when they were banging on their typewriters.

Unknown said...

I love reading about those little towns.

George said...

I read KISS OFF THE DEAD back in the Sixties. As you point out, it had a lot of Mickey Spillane touches.

Unknown said...
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Todd Mason said...

The degree to which the title pays homage to Spillane has finally registered with me.