!: Lock In – John Scalzi: a standalone SF novel. Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent – and nearly five million souls in the United States alone – the disease causes “Lock In”: Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.
2: The Equalizer Michael Sloan: a novel based on the Edward Woodward TV series by it’s creator.
3: The Will of The Dead – George Mann
4: The Spirit Box – George Mann: Richard Robinson clued me in to these Holmes pastiches. Sounded interesting. Now If I can find the time…
5: Featuring The Saint(review copy) – Leslie Charteris: from the Amazon imprint.
and the ebooks:
6: The Harlot – Ernie Lindsey: a crime novella from a good author.
7: The Sons of Daniel Shaye: Leaving Epitaph – Robert J. Randisi
8: The Sons of Daniel Shaye: Vengeance Creek – Robert J. Randisi: these two westerns by a fine author looked interesting.
9: Storm – Bernard Lee DeLeo: The FBI blackmailed Storm Crandall; but only after Storm hacked their database. At sixteen, she’s under cover at a high school, looking for clues involving five missing girls. Besides computer skills, Storm has game in the magic department. A sect of the Temple of Set soon finds out power comes in many guises.
10: Duke City Split – Max Austion: a pen name of Steve Brewer. A cool, calm, and collected bank robber—with two kids at home—heads a fascinating cast of characters in Duke City Split, the first in a trilogy of white-knuckle thrillers from Max Austin.
The Immortal starred Christopher George as Ben Richards As a test car driver that was virtually immortal. Forty-three, he could pass for thirty, had never been sick a day in his life, and any sort of wound he incurred healed abnormally fast. Despite all that, he’d sailed through life unnoticed until his boss, aging billionaire Jordan Braddock(Barry Sullivan), is injured in a plane crash, accelerating an already falling apart body. A blood transfusion, Ben Richards’, takes twenty years away from his aged self. Braddock’s doctor(Raymond Massey) is interested in the healing properties of Ben’s O – blood. Refusing to take it easy, quit his dangerous job, and be taken care of, Braddock kidnaps him “for his own protection” and installs him in a bomb shelter. He also starts a search for Ben’s brother, not seen since they were kids, on the chance his blood may be the same. Braddock’s long range plans are to save the best minds, i.e. the rich, for the betterment of mankind. Yea, right.
Jessica Walter is Braddock’s trophy wife, Janet, who’s waiting for him to die so that a twenty-five million dollar trust fund would revert to her, doesn’t like how things are proceeding, and smuggles a gun in on the lunch cart, concealing a foil wrapped note in his pea soup. He uses it to make his escape and goes into hiding.
Carol Lynley is Ben’s girl friend Sylvia Cartwright. They continue to talk on the phone on the sly, but Ben refuses to meet her, knowing Braddock will be having her watched. They must wait until the billionaire dies. In a moment of weakness, she keeps telling him no one is spying on her, they decide to get together.
We know how that goes.
A rooftop confrontation, where Ben threatens to jump if they don’t leave, get Sylvia shot as the police are arriving. Dying, Ben makes the decision to give her a pint of his blood. Her life is saved. But not for long.
Ben goes on the run again. Another doctor knows and is asking questions. Mrs. Braddock knows. Braddock’s head thug, Fletcher(Don Knight), knows and is threatening to go after Ben on his own, selling him to the highest bidder.
The pilot was in 1969. When the series was green-lighted in 1971, Braddock was dead and a new billionaire was after him. Arthur Maitland(David Brian) hires Fletcher to find Ben.
It lasted sixteen episodes and was a Fugitive-type show, with Ben helping folks while looking for his brother to warn him. on the subject of Sylvia. Ben had said goodbye to her at the end of the pilot knowing she’d never be safe as long as there was any contact between them. In an interview in Lynley I found, she said the network execs demanded she be brought back in the first episode.
So that her character could be killed off!
Network thinking was that he could never consort with other women in the series as long as Sylvia was alive. That would make him such a cad!
The pilot was based on the James Gunn novel THE IMMORTALS, though that was about all they took from the book. Gunn did the novelization of the pilot script as well.
This one’s a big deal.
Tomorrow would have been Sam Fuller’s 102nd birthday. And tomorrow we’re going to be giving the legendary filmmaker’s last novel — BRAINQUAKE — its first ever publication in English, first ever in America. BRAINQUAKE is the story of a mafia bagman with a brain disorder, the beautiful Mob widow he falls for, and the ruthless hitman who goes after them when he steals a bag containing $10 million of Mob money.
Early reviews have cheered the return of Sam Fuller’s vivacious, heart-in-your-mouth storytelling (see below for some examples). Last week, at a Museum of Modern Art screening of a new documentary about Fuller’s extraordinary life (called “A Fuller Life,” natch), Fuller’s wife and daughter were joined in the audience by filmmakers such as Jonathan Demme, Jim Jarmusch, John Turturro, and James Toback. And that’s just the New York contingent – other filmmakers Fuller inspired include Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Win Wenders, and many, many more.
And the man’s movies are as visceral and shocking and unforgettable now as when they were made: THE BIG RED ONE, SHOCK CORRIDOR, THE NAKED KISS, THE STEEL HELMET, PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET…
We’ve had some big books at Hard Case Crime, but the publication of BRAINQUAKE in some ways tops ’em all. Fuller was a larger-than-life figure — decorated D-Day veteran, liberator of the Falkenau concentration camp, teenage crime reporter in New York City, rail-rider with hoboes in the Depression, Hollywood wunderkind, fighter for racial equality, revered American icon overseas — and having him join the Hard Case Crime family is a special privilege.
There’s a lot here to get excited about. I hope you’ll help us spread the word that this one-of-a-kind book by this one-of-a-kind man is at last coming to bookstores, 17 years after his death.
If we can help you get the word out in any way, please just say the word.
Editor, Hard Case Crime
NIGHT MUST FALL is not so much a whodunnit as a why he did it. Based on a play by Emlyn Williams, it had a stellar cast including Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russel, and Dame May Whitty(who reprised the role she played on the London stage.
Robert Montgomery is Danny, the charming, and quite mad, killer. He disarms everyone he meets with his good cheer and manners. Dame May Whitty plays Mrs. Bramson, a rich crabby old woman who is quite abrasive with everyone, but meddles in everyone’s business. Rosalind Russell is Olivia, the old lady’s niece and assistant, caring for the wheelchair bound Bramson(we do see late in the film, though, that she’s quite capable of getting up and walking very easily when no one is around. She keeps a lot of cash at her home, distrustful of banks. Justin Laurie(Alan Marshal) is Bramson’s lawyer and Olivia’s hopeful lover. She’s fond of him, but doesn’t love him.
Danny comes to the household when he visits his fiancee, Dora(Merle Tottenham), who’s about to be fired for breaking a piece of china dinner ware. Danny works his charms on the old lady and is soon offered a job(he needs more money before he can marry Dora you see).
Olivia is the only one immune to Danny’s charm. Instinctively she senses something wrong about him. To that end, when Danny is taking Mrs. Bramson for a push in the garden, she convinces Dora and the cook, Emily Terence(Kathleen Harrison), to search his room. He’s been there a week and has failed to unpack his two suitcases. and then there’s the hatbox, locked and heavy, that they fail to open whe he catches them in his room.
The final sequence, late at night, with the phone wire cut and Olivia alone with Danny, we see just how mad the man really is as Montgomery does an excellent job portraying a disintegrating mind.
SF includes the title story, a couple of alternate universe tales, and an alien invasion, sort of, piece.
The title short is of a man who develops an app for clothing and it’s consequences. The explanation for the title comes from something I did not know. Mannequins are what the females are called. The male version are known as dummies.
The alternate universe tales find a man hunting Wooly Mammoths and taking on a Sabre-tooth tiger and a man being advised by other versions of himself.
Action pieces, one with Sam Dane, star of two of the author’s novels, and a bit of humor in a variation, Bill Crider will like this one, of the urban legend of alligators in the sewers of New York City. A little humor here: think alligators with guns.
A period piece from sailing skips and sword days: A vain character though well deserved of that thought.
Nice fast read. Worth a look. Available HERE.
Ellery Queen, Master Detective(1940)
Blood For A Silver Dollar(1965)
For A Few Extra Dollars(1966)
God In Heaven…Arizona On Earth(1972)
James Franciscus starred in this 1971 series as blind insurance investigator Michael Longstreet. It was based, very loosely, on mystery writer Baynard Kendrick’s character blind private eye Duncan Maclain who appeared in fourteen novels starting in 1937. The only real connection was that the two investigators were blind. I covered three of the novels HERE, HERE, and HERE.
The pilot for the series was shown recently on ME Tv and I wondered how it would hold up. It had been a long time since I’d watched any of them. It did, though one could look at it as a period piece. Set in New Orleans, it was of it’s time with clothes, music, and slang.
Longstreet is blinded, his wife Ingrid killed, when a champagne bottle explodes. The pilot is invested with his learning to function as a blind man, taught by John MacIntire. Jeanette Nolan plays his mother in the pilot. He acquires a white German Shepherd named Pax and a cane with a device that sends sonar beams out, allowing Longstreet to gauge distance by the speed of sound.
Longstreet has a burning desire to find and kill whoever planted the bomb. To that end, they begin checking out past cases Longstreet had broken for the insurance company. Until a chance remark about ANOTHER jewelry heist just like the one that had happened the same night as the bomb blast.
Eventually three jobs are pulled. Same M.O. Three men in coveralls and Halloween masks. Never speak. Top floor of the building. Said building locked down before they can get away, but no trace can be found.
The show only lasted twenty-three episodes plus the pilot, which started as a movie of the week.
Will Sheer comes home after two years to learn everyone thought him dead. Scalped and killed by Indians the papers had said. He also found that his partner in the stage line, Ned Oakes, had a new partner, Lyle Danko, a gambler, who’d supposedly invested five grand for a half interest.
Turns out that wasn’t exactly true. Ned owed Danko the monery in poker losses amd was coering Ned to tell him when the gold shipments were going out. Blackmail was also involved as Ned was carrying on with a young widow in the next town, cheating on his fiance Caroline Knight, the banker’s daughter.
But no one knows about the under the table deals but Ned and Danko.
It doesn’t take Will long to get his half back as Danko claims the five grand was never spent and he would gladly back out of the deal. Of coursde he still had that other deal with Ned.
Will has to figure another way to get the gold out as the rail bridge had washed and gold was piling up in the bank. Too many shady men in town to not try the bank with that amount of gold, some seventy grand.
Of course there’s a snake in the grass.
42: Hu: Li’l Harlan and his Sidekick Carl The Comet In Dangerland – Harlan Ellison
43: SF: Terminator Salvation: From The Ashes – Timothy Zahn
44: PU: Doc Savage: Horror In Gold – Kenneth Robeson
45: SF: Terminator Salvation: Cold War – Greg Cox
46: TH: Wolf – Mo Hayder
47: PU: The Avenger: The Justice, Inc, Files – edited by Joe Gentile & Howard Hopkins
48: PU: Doc Savage: The Infernal Buddha – Kenneth Robeson
49: SF: Dark Eden – Chris Beckett
50: PU: The Avenger: Roaring Heart of The Crucible – edited by Nancy Holder & Joe Gentile
51: PU: Doc Savage: Death’s Dark Domain – Kenneth Robeson
52: HR: Full Dark, No Stars – Stephen King
53: TH: Now You See Her – James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
54: WE: Trail of The Long Riders – Lee Martin
55: WE: Treachery At Rock Point – Peter Dawson
56: PU: Doc Savage: The Miracle Menace – Kenneth Robeson
57: SF: The New People: The Visitor – Roger Price & Julian R. Gregory
58: SF: The New People: Three In Three – Roger Price
59: TH: The Kill Switch – James Rollins & Grant Blackwood
60: SF: The New People: Four Into Three – Roger Price
61: SF: The New People: One Law – Roger Price
62: HR: The Dead Man: The black Nexus(ebook) – Leigh Grayson
63: HR: The Dead Man: The Rising Dead(ebook) – Stella Green
64: TH: 1000 Yards(ebook) – Mark Dawson
65: MY: Antique Slay Ride(ebook) – Barbara Allan
66: TH: Incident On And Off A Mountain Road(ebook) – Joe R. Lansdale