Read So Nude, So Dead by Evan Hunter Ed McBain Online

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He’d been a promising piano prodigy, once. Now he was just an addict, scraping to get by, letting his hunger for drugs consume him. But a man’s life can always get worse - as Ray Stone discovers when he wakes up beside a beautiful nightclub singer only to find her dead... and 16 ounces of pure heroin missing. On the run from the law, desperate to prove his innocence and fiHe’d been a promising piano prodigy, once. Now he was just an addict, scraping to get by, letting his hunger for drugs consume him. But a man’s life can always get worse - as Ray Stone discovers when he wakes up beside a beautiful nightclub singer only to find her dead... and 16 ounces of pure heroin missing. On the run from the law, desperate to prove his innocence and find a killer, Ray also faces another foe, merciless and unforgiving: his growing craving for a fix......

Title : So Nude, So Dead
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781781166062
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

So Nude, So Dead Reviews

  • James Thane
    2018-10-30 17:08

    This pulp novel from the early 1950s is of interest principally because it was the first crime novel ever published by Ed McBain, who would go on to become one of the masters of crime fiction, best known for his 87th Precinct series. This book first appeared in 1952 as The Evil Sleep!, under the name Evan Hunter. (In 1952, either just before or just after this book was published, the author legally changed his name from Salvatore Lombino to Evan Hunter after writing some short stories as "Evan Hunter.") The book was then reissued in 1956 as So Nude, So Dead, by "Richard Marsten." It was then revived in 2015 by Hard Case Crime with the authorship finally credited to Ed McBain.As the book opens, a hophead named Ray Stone wakes up next to a nightclub singer who is lying next to him in bed, nude and dead, having been shot sometime during the night. That's a fairly lousy way for a guy to start his day, but even worse, at least as far as Stone is concerned, is the fact that sixteen ounces of pure heroine, which had been in the apartment earlier, is now missing and Stone is in desperate need of his next fix.The story follows Stone as he orders his priorities and sets about his day. First he needs to score some H, and then he somehow needs to get out from under the murder rap that is hanging over his head. Neither will be easy. The cops have tagged him as the killer and his face is on the front page of every paper in the city. The dealers are avoiding him like the plague and he's running out of places to hide, let alone score.This is a fairly typical pulp novel from this era, and it's really not all that special, save for the fact that it was McBain's first effort. As such, it will appeal principally to McBain's fans who would like to see how he got started. For that reason, I'm glad I read it, but if you're looking for a good pulp novel from the Fifties, there are better books out there, and McBain would go on to write a lot of them.

  • Paul
    2018-11-16 19:13

    Ed McBain (writing as Richard Marsten) takes his first 'stab' at crime fiction. Initially, I thought this may be one man's anti-drug campaign in novel form, but it settles out into an adrenaline fuelled finish. After just finishing Lawrence Block's first novel, Sinner Man, I thought McBain's was more polished and less noir-formulaic and comic book. Still, there are some gaffes that McBain would certainly not have made in his later writings. But I enjoyed this, despite it not being a 87th Precinct novel.

  • Steve
    2018-11-04 15:51

    Evan Hunter, writing under the pseudonym of Ed McBain, penned this book 60 years ago. It was his first of many, and he shows some surprisingly mature chops as a young writer in this one.Former pianist Ray Stone is a heroin addict in the midst of severe withdrawal, and on the run as the primary suspect in the murder of a jazz club singer. Pretty standard pulpish noir fare, and a plot that is very common in this genre. McBain does pretty well at maintain the breakneck pace from the get-go, in which Stone wakes up from a drug-induced stupor so deep he didn't even hear the girl get shot in bed next to him sometime during the night. Over the course of the first few chapters, he decides, in his heroin-addled mind, to kind the real killer, avoid the police and arrest, and find his next hit of the Big H.Not a bad read overall. The book, like many books of this time, is very dated. Even still, it's an interesting read, especially considering how well the author grew with his 87th Precinct series later on.

  • Josh
    2018-11-08 22:53

    Ed McBain's debut novel is a fun, quasi PI read.Ray Stone is an addict. A former pianist who has succumbed to his vice. It's while indulging in this deadly habit that he finds himself chief suspect in the murder of young nightclub singer Eileen; the naked blonde who was dead his dead with two bullet holes in her belly.In order to clear his name, Ray conducts his own drug addled investigation to prove his innocence and find the murderer. As his dependency for his drug of choice dissipates his clarity increases. The pieces of the puzzle form to display a portrait of an unsuspecting murderer.I really liked this book. The different take on the PI theme is refreshing (despite being originally published well over 50yrs ago) and Ray is a likable protagonist despite his addiction. The pacing is quick and straight to the point and the characters leap off the page. http://justaguythatlikes2read.blogspo...

  • Randy
    2018-10-25 16:55

    Originally published in 1952 under the title THE EVIL SLEEP! by his, at the time, Evan Hunter pseudonym, it was released in 1956 under this title as by Richard Marsten, another pen name. It hasn't been available in more than fifty years. Hard Case Crime is bringing this edition in July.It was his first crime novel, the story of a man looking for the murderer everyone believed him to be. The hook is that Ray Stone is a heroin addict, waking next to the shot up corpse of the young singer. There's also sixteen ounces of pure heroin missing.An addict looking for a fix, the cops after him, not mention to the owners of the missing heroin. And Stone desperate to clear his name and find that elusive fix.Not a bad novel early in the career of a master.

  • Raven
    2018-11-10 19:53

    So Nude, So Dead was the first crime novel by the writer most famously known as Ed McBain, and was originally published in 1952 as The Evil Sleep! (under the name of Evan Hunter), and again in 1956 as So Nude, So Dead under the pen name of Richard Marsten. Thanks to those wonderful people at Hard Case Crime, the book* has been re-published over 50 years later, to mark the tenth anniversary of McBain’s passing.As a lifelong fan of McBain, the re-emergence of a ‘lost’ book by him has been an absolute treat, and if, like me, you love your American crime with an enhanced sense of ‘pulp’ this will be as much of a treat for you. With his central protagonist, the mercurial dope fiend Ray Stone, on the hunt for those that would frame him for murder and larceny, supported by a cast of increasingly unlikeable and grasping characters, this is vintage McBain. As Stone traverses the seedy underbelly of New York nightclubs avoiding the police and the bad guys, McBain steadily sets up each possible culprit, male and female, for Stone to interrogate using a number of guises, but all underpinned by Stone’s increasing tension caused by his need for one more fix to see him through his quest. His desperation for dope is succinctly and colourfully portrayed, and we get a real sense of how such a promising individual has found his life gone to the dogs by his addiction, and the effects of his addiction on those closest to him. We feel every moment of confusion, every wrenching stomach pain, and cold sweat, as he tries to balance his body’s cry for a fix with his search for a killer. McBain also trains a cool eye on the depths of deviousness Stone has employed to fund this addiction, which makes for some harsh reading, and carefully manipulates our feelings towards Stone even as his reliance on his habit waxes and wanes as the book progresses. McBain’s supporting cast is terrific too, as he builds up a picture of Eileen Chalmers’ life as a nightclub singer, and the host of unsavoury connections she has made behind the surface glitz and glamour of her chosen profession. As Stone encounters each exploitative impressario, slimy musician or jealous female acquaintance of Chalmers’ you could put your money on any of them stitching him up….Shooting straight from the hip the dialogue is razor sharp and as Chalmers’ teasingly refers to her and Stone’s repartee on their first encounter, “Sparkling dialogue. Refuges from a Grade-B stinkeroo”. The dialogue is spare, frank and uncompromising, and delivered in a style that by which what is unsaid lingers in the air like plumes of exhaled tobacco smoke. See he’s got me at it now. As I’ve said before, it was this style of book that got me hooked on crime fiction, with the deceit and failings of some of the most despicable members of society unflinchingly portrayed through the pared down rhythmic simplicity of manner and speech. It’s mesmerising, darkly witty and brutally truthful, and that is why I have always adored Ed McBain. So Nude, So Dead only compounds my adoration, and it was a joy to discover anew a fledgling work by this most missed of crime authors.

  • Bert
    2018-10-28 00:08

    "There's a monkey on my back, a fifteen-pound monkey and his name is Horse."Brilliant.

  • Greg
    2018-11-07 23:53

    "So Nude, So Dead" and "Unavailable for over 50 Years" screams the cover. How can you NOT read this early Ed McBain novel, and what's with the pseudonym anyway? Good grief, at about the same time, James Baldwin published "Giovanni's Room" under his own name and it was a far more controversial novel (but Giovanni wasn't naked on the cover). Darn these double standards!

  • Jure
    2018-11-06 17:44

    Plot is okay and it's development becomes quite enjoyable once you stop paying too much attention to the story holes (like where are the cops?!?), loose ends and coincidences. The final whodunit is decent although far from shocking. All in all, it's a good, honest and unpretentious writing without moralizing or preaching on a difficult subject of drug addiction. I imagine it was pretty ground-breaking 60 years ago.More here (review includes spoilers!):http://a60books.blogspot.ie/2015/08/s...

  • Andrew Diamond
    2018-11-03 18:03

    I picked this up in a bookstore the other day because I liked the lurid, 1950s pulp style of the cover, and the opening chapter was good. I hadn't read Ed McBain before, and I was surprised to read a first novel in which the plotting, dialog, and characters are solid throughout. The main character, Ray Stone, is an addict who finds himself framed for a murder and has to prove his innocence. Some elements of the book are dated, such as the descriptions of fight scenes, which play out exactly as they did in the movies of the forties and fifties--a little slow, with guys in suits kicking each other in the shins and trying to wrestle pistols from each other's hands. Some of the dated elements of the book, however, actually make it interesting. This book was first copyrighted in 1952, and slang of jazz musicians in this novel didn't seem to appear in film until a few years later.McBain was somewhat ahead of his time in choosing an addict for his main character, and actually portraying him as a sympathetic, fully fleshed out human being. The author accurately describes the trail of destruction and broken relationships a junkie leaves in his wake. When Ray's girlfriend, Jeannie, decides to end their relationship, she gives a dead-on description of what it's like to be close to a junkie. That kind of knowledge can only come from first-hand experience. It makes me wonder what McBain's life was like at that time, and who he was hanging around with.Many of the people who have reviewed this book say his later books are better. I'll pick some up and see if that's true. This one was pretty solid.

  • Samuel Tyler
    2018-11-15 21:13

    What’s in a name? A lot if you decide to call your book ‘‘So Nude, So Dead’’. This is a title to conjure with, what on Earth is it about? As this is a ‘‘Hard Case’’ title it is likely to be hardboiled and not adverse to a little violence and titillation. However, consider that the book was once call ‘‘The Evil Sleep!’’ and has since been renamed; is this more a case of the title selling the book rather than accurately portraying its content?When Ray Stone wakes up he has two major problems; where is he going to get his next hit of heroin and who is to blame for the women’s dead body next to him? Stone may be a junkie, but he is no killer, but that does not stop the cops from chasing the once talented Jazz singer around the city. Can he find out who really killed the nightclub singer and get himself a fix as well? It’s a hard life …Crime as a genre often has an addict at its centre, usually this is for alcohol and is more of a character trait that main plot element. Kudos must go then to one of the masters of the genre, Ed McBain, because he puts Stone’s addiction front and centre in this book and uses it as a driving force for the story. You would think that a title like ‘‘So Nude, So Dead’’ would have sex or violence at its core, but in fact these are peripheral elements to Stone’s constant craving. Written back in 1956, this book has one of the keenest portrayals of addiction that I have read as it plagues Stone’s every thought.With addiction playing such a major role in the book the crime noir elements could have been lost, but McBain was not known as a talented writer for nothing. The lust for drugs just adds flavour to an otherwise classic feeling noir. There are plenty of twists and Femme Fatales for our ‘hero’ to meet along the way and the bumbling style of Stone’s investigation works well as he is only trying to find the killer so that he can get off and return back to his life of debauchery. Most fans of the genre will be able to work out what is happening before the end, but you will have fun along the way.One element that does sit a little uneasily is the 50s attitude towards drug addicts. Stone himself is treated quite sympathetically by McBain and his internal monologues hint at a man who knows that he is falling and cannot stop. What is coarse is how the other characters react to Stone – the cops are happy to shoot on sight at any hophead. This is of the era and is in keeping with the context of the day, but readers should be aware.‘‘So Nude, So Dead’’ is an excellent piece of exploitation fiction of the 50s, let down slightly by the crass title. This is not a book about nudity or death, but about one man’s addiction and the attempt to clear his name. The portrayal of Stone and his drug abuse is one of the best that I have read and the story was originally penned 60 years ago. This an impressive feat and makes for an impressive book. Original review on bookbag.co.uk

  • Tony
    2018-11-17 18:53

    SO NUDE, SO DEAD. (1952). Ed McBain. ***.There’s some history here. This novel was first published as, “The Evil Sleep,” under the pseudonym Evan Hunter. It was then re-issued as “So Nude, So Dead,” as by Richard Marston. It was, indeed, Ed McBain’s first crime novel, but there was always the question of attribution. It’s what you might expect of an early novel directed to the pulp trade. Still, it was head and shoulders above most of the rest of them at the time. A man wakes up in the morning after a night of booze and heroin and finds a dead woman next to him. He also realizes that 16 oz of heroin that was there the night before is now missing. He becomes the obvious suspect in the murder – and in the theft of the horse. He now has to become his own detective. There are some interesting twists and turns by McBain until the solution is found. I’m glad that this novel was successful enough to launch McBain in his writing career. Without this one, we would have missed out on the 87th Precinct series and the other fine novels that came out of his pen.

  • Corey
    2018-11-04 18:52

    A wild ride down a dark street.

  • Michael Fredette
    2018-11-09 17:59

    So Nude, So Dead was first published in 1952 with the title The Evil Sleep! under the name Evan Hunter (two years before he found success with The Blackboard Jungle), then reprinted four years later with its current title under the pseudonym Richard Marsten, and finally re-issued in 2015 by Hard Case Crime with the name Ed McBain. So Nude, So Dead is McBain's first crime novel, and first book for adults. The protagonist, Ray Stone is a former piano prodigy who becomes a heroin addict. He meets a nightclub singer named Eileen who shares his habit and spends a night with her in a hotel. She shows him her stash of 16 ounces of heroin before they nod off. When Ray wakes up, he discovers Eileen has been murdered, her heroin stash stolen, and himself left behind as a fall guy. Ray, now a fugitive from the law, sick from dope withdrawal (but remarkably physically robust for a junkie), investigates who might have wanted Eileen dead. The suspects include her estranged husband, her rich playboy former boyfriend, and the leader of the band she sings with. The Hard Case Crime edition also includes a bonus short story "Die Hard," featuring Matt Cordell (the private eye from the Gutter and the Grave), which concerns the murder of a heroin addict's father.

  • Roger
    2018-11-07 21:53

    The author of So Nude, So Dead is listed as Richard Marsten on Goodreads but is really Ed McBain of 87th Precinct fame. So Nude, So Dead (McBain obviously belonged to the Bill Davis school of book titling) was a first novel, but it is still entertaining over five decades later. It is also very reminiscent of James Ellroy, who has stated more than once that this type of story was a big influence on him. Violent and visceral like any good pulp thriller, too-and there is a bonus short story ("Die Hard" and no this does not feature John McClane rather it predates that character by many moons) that is also a lot of noir amusement. This is good stuff if the Cornell Woolrich school of literature appeals to you.

  • Andrew F
    2018-11-13 22:44

    Another Hard Case Crime book, another four stars. This one was the first crime book by "Ed McBain" and the hook is genius...A junkie "hophead" in 1950s New York must solve a murder he's the prime suspect in...while fighting off his own withdrawals! Compellingly readable, dependably violent and cool as ice, So Nude So Dead was a top draw read for me, my only slight regret is McBain doesn't murder the momentum a little in that final chapter and shine a light as to what happens to Ray next. As far as I am aware he never reappeared in any future stories and I am loathe to assume he was stuck in a literary cycle of substance abuse forever like Matt Cordell.Speaking of Matt Cordell, the supporting feature here is a short story ("Die Hard"!) also by McBain, also about junkies in New York and starring everyone's favourite homeless alcoholic detective, Matt Cordell, from the classic The Gutter and the Grave.

  • Sarah
    2018-10-28 18:43

    I enjoyed this pulp novel about an is one framed for murder, who struggles against his addiction while trying to find the real murderer.

  • Edward Smith
    2018-11-12 22:44

    Good early read from Ed McBain. I love how his character changes as the book progresses.the first few paragraphs of Chapter Eleven are worth the time in itself, Pure McBain.

  • Carol
    2018-10-20 00:12

    Heroin addict wakes up next to a corpse. The frame fits,the police are searching for him. Now he has to solve the murder and get a fix.

  • Severius
    2018-10-17 15:48

    A great crime novel about a heroin addict framed for murder and on the run unable to get a fix. The mystery was great and the action was gripping. I didn't want to stop reading. Loved it.

  • Kern
    2018-11-04 16:09

    Published 65 years ago, this classic crime noire was a fun read. It fell slightly below the usually higher standard for HCC. I never liked Ray...

  • Ima Vanhood
    2018-10-21 00:00

    I enjoyed it. Hard to put down. Rush, rush, rushing.

  • Matthew Lipson
    2018-10-18 20:10

    As I go further down the rabbit hole that is the Hard Case Crime imprint, I have become a junky looking for his next fix -- much like the main character in this novel. I am not surprised that McBain went on to have lucrative career as a crime/detective novelist. This being his first novel does make me want to read more of his work.Most people would not want to read a novel where the main character is a down and out loser who has thrown away his life for a needle filled with heroin. The fact that Ray Stone laments this decision, while trying to clear his name of a murder he did not commit, is what makes the novel. McBain shows a sensitivity to his main character in this, his freshman effort, that makes one wonder if there is a little autobiography. There is details in the withdrawal from and obtaining heroin that goes beyond strict research.The writing is also compelling as you follow Stone's narrative, and you find yourself hoping that he will succeed in his efforts. You also know he could not have committed murder, but you will have to read the book to see why I say that. All in all, the book is very readable to the point I'm looking forward to my next run in with Ed McBain.

  • Dave
    2018-10-29 18:52

    The protagonist waking up next to a dead body and everyone in the city believing he is a crazed killer is a staple of noir fiction. There are hundreds of such novels because it is such a compelling set-up. Here, Ed McBain gives us his take on the man-on-the-run noir thriller and he does a great job of hitting this one out of the ballpark.It's not difficult to get inside Ray's head. He's down on his luck and he's got no one in his corner. And, to be honest, who's going to believe his story that someone came into the apartment and killed Eileen while they both slept in a drug-induced stupor. How is he ever going to prove some other dude did it? And how is he going to do this with half the cops in the city looking for him and his picture on the front page of every newspaper?The plot is easy to follow and McBain invests this story with lots of pulpy fifties stuff from jazz musicians, to heroin junkies, to strippers, to hoods. The pace is relentless and, as you read this, you can feel all the walls closing in on Ray. The descriptions of the nightclub singers and dealers and other people Ray encounters are right on the money. This book sizzles with pulpiness. There is so much in this short novel.It is not a drug story, although the addiction to heroin is the vehicle by which Ray is separated from his friends and family and serves to make him ever more desperate. The real plot is that he is a man on the run who woke up with a dead body and he is facing life behind bars for something he just didn't do.There is also a bonus short story featuring Matt Cordell, another character of McBain's, a tough guy detective, and that hardboiled tale ties in well with the main event in this volume.

  • Mike
    2018-10-24 17:45

    Even though much of it is hard to get through, I'm giving Ed McBain's first crime novel--"So Nude, So Dead"--two stars. I bought it mostly from the title and cover art, I'll admit. But the story inside is NOT your usual noir.If you want a more typical noir story, there is one included as well. It's a short story called "Die Hard" featuring Matt Cordell, the disgraced P.I. from "The Gutter and the Grave." I liked "Die Hard" better than "So Nude, So Dead." That's why I purchased "The Gutter and the Grave." I'm reading it right now, so a review will be forthcoming. "So Nude, So Dead" is a novel about a heroin addict--Ray Stone, former piano player--framed for murder. He wakes up from a one-night stand with a pretty girl (whose most attractive feature was the pound of heroin she had), only to find that she murdered while he was out of his head. Of course, Ray is even more upset about the missing heroin than the dead girl he wakes up next to.While this definitely fits the "unlikely investigator" trope in many noir tales, a heroin addict is an interesting and risky choice. McBain definitely delves deep into the psychology of the addict and lays out the horrors of addiction and withdrawal to the reader. But this is a perspective from the early 1950's and doesn't quite ring true with what science and psychology say about addiction in these (slightly?) more enlightened times. Also, there is a lot McBain couldn't say about his addict or the behavior of addicts while writing in the 1950's. But he says plenty. Enough to make me seriously consider quitting this novel altogether at several points. Reading is supposed to be entertainment, and this addict and his horrid behavior isn't too entertaining early on.Where the book seems to fall short, scientifically speaking, for me was the fact that the withdrawal pangs of the addict protagonist don't really prevent him from becoming an amateur detective and winning several fist fights and recovering from a hellacious torture beating. So all that is more than a little hard to believe. As is the sudden love interest that pops up for Ray--as well as the fact that he could, um, function romantically while his body is in the throes of withdrawal. "So Nude, So Dead" is a lurid pot-boiler about an addict trying to get out from under a murder rap. Is he trying to set his life straight, or is he just looking for another fix? Will he find the villain who framed him, or will he succumb to the perils of his addiction? Or both? The story goes through a lot of "the psychology of the addict" before getting anywhere near interesting. And a lot of the plot points stretch beyond the "suspension of disbelief" of the reader (or this reader, at least). As I said above, the short 20-page detective story "Die Hard" was more entertaining to me than the whole of "So Nude, So Dead." Draw your conclusions from there.

  • Nathan Rom
    2018-10-30 18:06

    “Out there is the bastard, he thought. Somewhere out there.” My first Salvatore Lombino – a.k.a brand-unto-himself Ed McBain – and coincidentally his first novel as well. Doesn’t read like it though. The definition of a propulsive narrative thanks to the ticking clock of the protagonist’s (you couldn’t call him a hero) heroin withdrawal symptoms, his face on the front of every paper and the New York cops and various drug players in hot pursuit this is an absolute nightmare fever dream. The set-up is standard pulp – bloke wakes up after a binge with a dead beauty next to him. This is so standard it’s used in “Sin City” although there Mickey Rourke responds by necking another bottle of whisky, launching himself out of the window and through the front windscreen of a speeding cop car. Here, developments are kept strictly, and frighteningly, realistic. Ray Stone lurches from doorway to gutter, chucking his guts up everywhere and physically disintegrating as he goes through cold turkey while trying, laughably, to clear his name. Mercifully, it’s a third person narrative so we’re spared a direct line into the man’s addled thoughts, but the USP of “So Nude, So Dead” is definitely the in-your-face depiction of Why We Don’t Do Drugs. The great pulp masters, all hail, never countenanced even the slightest whiff of bollocks so everything reads as direct experience and short novels like this are the closest biochemical facsimile you can get to a shot of whisky in book form, the perfect chaser between wilder cocktails. The depiction of drug addiction must have made for a right old shocker of a read back in the 1950s, a real stare into the eyes of Hieronymous Bosch. A solid pulp run around with a memorably flawed protagonist, this has made me lick my lips in anticipation of McBain’s collosal “87th Precinct” series of novels. One last thing: the artwork for my Hard Case Crime reprint of “So Nude, So Dead” is bloody gorgeous.

  • Michael Brown
    2018-10-24 18:02

    Ed McBain's first story was a hard read. Out of print for 50 years it was reprinted under the Hard Case Crime imprint. It is easy to see how he took the characters and settings to weave the story and keep our interest but unfortunately I did not really like the main player and had little sympathy for his predicament. Still the action flowed and as he grew in his profession we see that McBain started out better than many in the hard boiled story line that morphed into his set player series like the 87 Precinct.

  • John Pringle
    2018-11-06 16:59

    I quite liked SO NUDE, SO DEAD. I appreciated the action, the suspense, and the good dialogue, and I thought having the main character be a drug addict was an interesting idea. I would have preferred a different ending – as with a lot of these pulp fiction mysteries, the endings often come across as half-baked. The Matt Cordell short story at the end of the book was fairly weak. Overall, I think CUT ME IN is the better novel, and a bit more fun.

  • Claudette Gabbs
    2018-10-17 23:53

    This book was OK. 200 pages of trying to figure out a killer & it took the entire 200 pages. I gave it 4 stars, but it's more like a 3 1/2 star book. It reads quick. But...but an entire book of a junkie wanting a fix is not overly exciting. I didn't read the short story at the end.

  • Woody Chandler
    2018-11-12 21:02

    I thought that it was an interesting read of an early work of an author whom I have read widely. I dug the old lingo & the added bonus of a Matt Cordell short story was a pleasant surprise! I wonder how many more of those exist.