Friday, December 01, 2017

Forgotten Books: Prime Sucker -- Harry Whittington

Hank sat at the table and wanted George's wife.  It was like being drunk, the way she made him feel.

That's the opening paragraph, and right away you know things aren't going to end well.  You also know that when it comes to writing a novel about sexual obsession, Harry Whittington knew what he was doing.  

Hank, the sucker, is George's boss.  Amy is George's wife.  Hank's own wife, Ethel, is cold and a little twisted. Amy's twisted in a different way: "I want whatever you want, her eyes had said, and he knew in his sickness that they also said, I want what any man wants. Any man."  George has used Amy for the old badger game before, but this time something happens.  Amy really does fall for Hank. 

Will Hank be able to break away from Ethel and find happiness with Amy?  This was the '50s.  That should answer the question.  Whittington puts Hank his characters through the wringer and there's raw emotion on every page.  This isn't one of Whittington's noir classics, but it's worth your time.  

Another rerun.


George said...

Another Harry Whittington classic I've never seen!

Peter Brandvold said...

I'm reading one of his Longarms--IN THE BIG THICKET. It's terrific. What a great, entertaining writer, and prolific.

George said...

Nope, Hank can't have my wife!

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