One Deadly Dawn

Harry Whittington was one of the top tier of pulp writers in his heyday and One Deadly Dawn proves just how good a writer he is. Whittington sets this tawdry pulp tale in the Hollywood studios and features a fading star up for murder and a studio PR man in the place of the classic hardboiled detective.

You have the usual hoods and slinkydames here, but what sets this terrific story apart from other Hollywood tales is Whittington’s descriptions and the mood he sets. He gives us Julie designed by someone with a yen for long pleasure cruises and they’d included lots of curves and hilly country. Lorna was the Luscious kind of lovely who had to watch her diet, but in her early thirties, she would have made some farmer a healthy stout wife. Marie got her kicks from watching violence unfold around her. And Leo Ross had a face that showed all the evil in the world. Toni’s scent was half something she bought, half something she was born with.

There are no palm trees, no ocean waves, no adoring crowds. It’s a journey into a dark, deceitful, backstabbing world where everyone is after something and the main character, Sam Howell, is suspicious of
every slinky dame and what they are really after.


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