New In The House

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1: The Chaplain’s War – Brad Torgersen: The mantis cyborgs: insectlike, cruel, and determined to wipe humanity from the face of the galaxy. They’ve already wiped out two sentient species. Enter Harrison Barlow, though a chaplain, wants to serve with his fellow humans. What good wil a chaplain be in a war like this. We will find out.

2: Moriarty(ARC) – Anthony Horowitz: a new Sherlock Holmes novel that tells of the aftermath of Reichenbach Falls.

3: Ride Into Yesterday – Ed Gorman: Gunman Stephen Payne arrives at a small town where his brother committed suicide after robbing a stage. Page doesn’t believe his brother guilty of either.

4: The Big Ugly(ebook, review copy) – Jake Hinkson: the latest novel by the author from Beat To A Pulp press.

Two Pistols and A Coward(Il Pistolero Segnato Da Dio)1968

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The Italian title translates literally as THE GUNMAN MARKED BY GOD. As usual,Pistolero_segnato1b it had a variety of different titles depending on the market to which it was released. In the U.S. alone, it appeared under GUNMAN SENT BY GOD, TWO GUNS AND A COWARD, and TWO PISTOLS AND A COWARD. It’s a film of revenge, cowardice, and redemption.

Anthony Steffen(real name Antonio De Teffè) is Gary Maguire, professional name Tornado West, a trick shot artist traveling with a small circus. Gary is quite adept at handling setups with his two gun rig. But the real thing, violence, brings up a psychological block in him dating back to childhood. Then practicing twirling guns, one goes off and stampedes a herd of cattle, taking the life of his older brother. His father was so infuriated he struck him across the neck, leaving a livid scar there(hence the Italian title). He freezes up when confronted by real violence.

Pistolero_segnato2 (1)Tony Murphy( Marco Stefanelli) is a young boy who idolizes the circus performer. Tony had seen his father murdered by a masked gunman a few years before during a raid on the family ranch. He’s being raised by foster parents to be the proper young gentleman. Just before his father was murdered, he’d hidden a box with $30,000 dollars and told Tony it was his. No one else knew where it was hid.

A bank robbery happens and Gary is recuited for the posse. When they find the robbers splitting the money, the Sheriff goes to fetch the posse, leaving Gary to watch over them. He sees the leader, Roy Elroy(Giovanni Cianfriglia, billed as Ken Wood) shoot them all down, leaving with the money. Gary hides fearfully as all that happens. When he’s credited with killing the five, he’s to ashamed to admit the truth and becomes the toast of the town.

Roy Elroy is infuriated by the adoration when he knows the truth and at Gary’sPistolero_segnato3 performance that night when a challenger is called for oversteps the shill to take on Gary. Gary knows right away who he is and loses the contest because of nervousness. Elroy takes every opportunity to humiliate him. Such that Gary quits the circus and goes on a bender.

Young Tony wants him to help get his ranch back. He’s overheard by a prostitute telling Gary about the hidden thirty thousand and goes straight to the man who’s murdered the boy’s father, a crooked rancher named Coleman(Richard Wyler). The boy is taken by Elroy, who works for Coleman, and is t be tortured for the hidden fortune.

That’s when Gary has to pull himself together and rescue the boy. The only jarring note in the finale was the reappearance of the circus, left behind early in the film, shoing up at the ranch in the nick of time.

I’d rate this one about a C. Not the worst I’ve seen, but not near the top.

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FFB: Death of A Gunfighter – Lewis B. Patten

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11900269Things came to a head in the town of Cottonwood springs when Marshal Frank Patch killed Luke Mills. Mills was a drunk, but when that challenging voice yelled out of the dark alley and a couple of shots followed, instinct took over and a man was dead.

The town had been trying to get Patch to quit for a few years now. They thought it was time for a uniformed police force. He was an anachronism these days. But Patch always refused. When he’d taken the job, it was a wild town and his type was needed.

But that was twenty years ago. The shots from Mills were the first fired Patch’s way in four years.

The town was afraid of Patch. He had a manner about him. Take his girl friend. In the last five yers, he’d never hit her, threatened her, looked crosswise at her, or raised his voice to her. Yet she was afraid of him.

Patch got away with refusing to quit because, after twenty years, he knew stuff about the important people in town, things they wouldn’t want advertised. Threats to not pay didn’t work either. His answer was he had money put away and it didn’t cost him much to live.

But something had to be done. Businesses had passed on locating in town when they saw the big gunfighter type riding through town.. They thought it was still rough. Growth had stagnated.

Patch had his own insecurities as well. The big, gruff man that frightened everybody was afraid himself. What would he do if he wasn’t Marshal. He knew nothing else.

So the town decided what they were going to do.

The novel was made into a film starring Richard Widmark as Patch and Lena Horne as his girl friend.

Final note. Heath Lowrance had this in a post and attracted my attention. He says he got it from Cullen Gallagher.

Made For Each Other(1939)

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735910-bJames Stewart is young lawyer John Horace Mason sent to Boston by his firm to get a deposition for an important case. He comes back with that deposition. And a wife! He met Jane(Carole Lombard) in a park when he helped her get a cinder from her eye. It was love at first sight for both of them.

Back in the city, he delivers the deposition and tells the oldest member of the firm, and his boss, Judge Joseph M. Doolittle(Charles Coburn), about his marriage and wish to go on a honeymoon. The Judge won’t hear of it, the case is too important and starts the next week. Mason reveals he’s already gotten a continuance and is given the go ahead for the honeymoon to Europe. But as they are about to board the ship, fellow lawyer in the firm, Carter(Donald Briggs) brings word he can’t go. The case is back on.

Mason is optimistic. He does a good job on the case and expects to move up in the firm. A new junior partner is to be announced soon and he believes it will be him.

Other pressures get in the way. Though there was never any formalMade_for_Each_Other-_1939-_Poster (1) arrangement, Mason was expected to marry the Judge’s daughter, Eunice(Ruth Weston), by both the judge and Eunice. When the time for the junior partner comes, the Judge announces that his daughter was again the advisor and the new junior parner would be Carter, who just happened to be Eunice’s new beau.

Other pressures mount at home. Mason’s mother(Lucille Watson) lives with them and she, too, had wanted her son to marry Eunice. She’s a constant nag about every little thing Jane does: the cooking, the cleaning, the way she talks to her son. When the new son is born, things only amp up.

Jane tells him he needs to ask for a raise. But he gets bullied into taking a 25% pay cut. “Things are tough and everyone needs to tighten their belt.”

6KOAF00ZBills pile up, creditors send harassing mail, Mom keeps nagging.

Bad news comes on New Year’s Eve. The baby has pneumonia and is in serious condition. No serum anywhere in the city. It had all been sent to Salt Lake City to combat the epidemic. A frantic call finds that things have calmed down and six doses can be spared. Time is of the essence and it must be flown. But raging storms over the states across the country make it a dangerous undertaking. Five thousand it will cost. Only a rickety biplane is available(the pilot is played by Ward Bond).

Frantic Mason invades the Judge’s home in the middle of the night and begsdownload (1) for the money. The Judge agreed and now it was a matter of getting the serum across the country.

A tense race begins. Contact is lost. No one has seen the plane in to long. Then the plane appears and seems okay until an oil leak sets the engine on fire and the pilot bails out. Injured on landing, he crawls to a nearby house.

The film was produced by David O. Selznick.

New In The House

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!: The Ice Genius _ Kenneth Robeson(Will Murray) – latest Doc Novel.

2: Far As The Eye Can See(ARC) – Robert Bausch: Bobby Hale is a Union veteran several times over. After the war, he sets his sights on California, but only makes it to Montana. As he stumbles around the West, from the Wyoming Territory to the Black Hills of the Dakotas, he finds meaning in the people he meets-settlers and native people-and the violent history he both participates in and witnesses. Far as the Eye Can See is the story of life in a place where every minute is an engagement in a kind of war of survival, and how two people-a white man and a mixed-race woman-in the midst of such majesty and violence can manage to find a pathway to their own humanity.

3: Death of a Gunfighter – Lewis B. Patten: former gunfighter, now a Marshal. Suddenly a whole town wants him dead.

4: Smonk – Tom Franklin: in 1911 Old Texas, Alabama, the townspeople finally tire of E. U. Smonk and his violeny Saturday night rituals: killing livestock, destroying proprty, and seducing women.

and the ebooks:

Brash books has a $.99 cent sale on ebooks and I snatched a few.

5: Shadow Counter – Tom Kakonis: LADY LUCK IS DEALING DEATH… AND WAVERLY IS HOLDING A LOSING HAND. Twice selected by the New York Times as one of the Ten Best Crime Novelists of the Year, Tom Kakonis brings back Waverly, his cunning professional gambler, in what The Washington Post calls “a keenly fatalistic thriller.”

6: Death is Forever: A Delilah West Thriller – Maxine O’Callaghan: Ex-cop Delilah West is working as a PI with her husband Jack when he’s killed while investigating a missing person’s case. Grief-stricken and enraged, she becomes obsessed with finding the killer…only to wake up drugged in a skid-row hotel room with him lying beside her with a knife in his back. It’s the perfect frame, nailing her for an obvious revenge killing. Now she’s on the run…living on a razor’s edge trying to avoid capture while searching for the murderers who’ve destroyed her life.

7: Laughing Dog – Dick Lochte: Hardboiled private eye Leo Bloodworth and his self-appointed partner, fifteen-year-old Serendipity Dahlquist, are back in a wild and deadly new mystery that’s every bit as brilliant and memorable as SLEEPING DOG, a New York Times Book of the Year, a Nero Wolfe Award winner, and a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus and Anthony Awards.

8: Man Eater – Gar Anthony Haywood: Ronnie Deal’s no hero. She’s just a drop-dead gorgeous Hollywood movie executive having a really bad day who’s in no mood to watch when homicidal thug Neon Polk puts a beat down on poor little Antsy Carruth at the Tiki Shack bar. Ronnie puts Polk’s lights out with a beer bottle, Antsy takes a powder, and Ronnie tries to forget the whole thing. But not Neon. Antsy stole twenty-five grand from Neon’s drug-dealing boss and Ronnie’s just cost him a big recovery fee, not to mention cut his pride to the quick. Neon not only gets revenge in spades, he wants Ronnie to pay him fifty grand as icing on the cake.
What Neon doesn’t know is that people in The Business don’t call Ronnie “Raw Deal” for nothing. Ronnie’s got a completely different kind of payoff in mind for Neon now, and with the help of ex-con and aspiring screenwriter Ellis Langford—who’s got big troubles of his own in the form of two psychos named Jorge and Jaime Ayala—she’s about to learn how to make a real killing in Tinseltown.

9: Anthem’s Fall(review copy) – S. L. Dunn: S.L. Dunn’s riveting debut channels the best superhero stories with an elevating moral debate and a revolutionary new technology. Set both in modern New York City and in the technologically sophisticated yet politically savage world of Anthem, Anthem’s Fall unfurls into a plot where larger than life characters born with the prowess of gods are pitted against the shrewd brilliance of a familiar and unlikely heroine.

The Relentless Four(I Quattro Inesorabili)1965

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THE RELENTLESS FOUR features a pre-Batman Adam West, coming the yearRelentless before he assumed that mantle. Curiously enough, or maybe not, there was no interest in U.S. play for the film until Batman took off.

West is Ranger Sam Garrett who, at the start of the film, is pursuing two men on foot(how they ended up on foot is never explained). They think he wants to take them in even though he’s a friend. The kid wants his companion, Rex Calhoun(José Canalejas), to surrender. But Sam is looking for them to tell them that Calhoun has been cleared and the reward withdrawn.

But the two run into the title characters, bounty hunters, just before Sam catches up. Allen(Claudio Undari, billed as Robert Hundar) is their leader. The other three are Troy(Renato Rosini, billed as Red Ross), Jeffrey Anders(Roberto Camardiel), and Moss(Raf Baldassarre, billed as Ralph Baldwin). The four cut down Calhoun just as Sam arrives.

downloadHe informs them there will be no reward, so Allen shoots Sam’s horse with the idea of claiming the five hundred before he can alert the Sheriff(Luis Induni) about it. Didn’t work as Sam arrives just as the money is being paid out. The four men are not happy. Neither is the deputy( Lorenzo Robledo) working with them.

At that same time, A rich rancher, John(John Bartha, billed as Janos Barta) has sold his herd off and is in the saloon playing poker and flashing a fat roll around.images Sam gets into a poker game with him as John’s wife and daughter arrives with hands to stop the game, literally picking up John in his chair and toting him out to the wagon. Sam’s a friendly type and ends up the same way, picked up in his chair along with the poker table to conyinue their game at the ranch.

The four bounty hunters want that roll and invade the ranch house late, slugging Sam from behind, then Allen donning his vest and hat to kill John and be seen riding away. The other three had already taken Sam away where they poured enough liquor down his throat to make him pass out. Sam didn’t drink.

It’s a neat frame and Sam is sentenced to hang the next morning.

fT4pAeroNaemKiWrqu9fz30ZIZtSam has to figure out how to escape and clear his name, secretly aided by Allen. Hey, another big reward.

Primo Zeglio directed and provided the story, co-writing the script with Manuel Marcello De Caso, Federico De Urrutia, Marcello Fondato, and an uncredited Manuel Sebares. Despite all the hands, it wasn’t a total bad job.

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