Heat of Night

Harry Whittington, the “king of the paperbacks,” wrote all kinds of novels, not just hardboiled yarns. He wrote a number of novels that could only be termed country noir, usually about poor Southerners, hillbillies, poor immigrants in small fishing towns. This book is country pulp in its most powerful form. It is filled with the strongest of passions, the most powerful emotions. It is entirely unlike the crime novels one might expect from Whittington, but it’s a powerful piece and what’s amazing is how slowly and carefully Whittington leads you into this world.

Big Juan is a fisherman, who dreams of finding sunken treasure and has such powerful passion for Big Rosa that they can be heard for ten blocks in any direction. Their daughter is a Cuban blonde, who works as a secretary for a wealthy contractor who can’t concentrate on his work when she’s around. Ric was the town football hero but that was lifetimes ago.

It’s a tale in a small Gulf town on the marshes. What matters to these people are their hearts, their families, their traditions. And, Whittington tells their story with the devastating punch of his pulp-era writing. However, don’t expect all these characters to be fully fleshed out or some to be much more than caricatures.


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