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The Big Heat by William P. McGivern
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The Big Heat

by William P. McGivern

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The author uses one of the oldest pulp plots and he gives it no new wrinkles. He makes it fresh and memorable by his superb characterization of the cop and his enemies, and his description of the harsh world that they live in. The result is something rare: a story that is at once hardboiled and optimistic. ( )
  Coach_of_Alva | Jan 6, 2014 |
I tried listening to this title last year but I wasn't focused enough to do so. I don't agree with some of the "casting" choices CL made for some of his characters, but since many of the characters were secondary and fleeting, it was easy enough to move past it. Published in 1953, it contains echoes of the Black Dahlia murder six years prior. The story is far better than the noir schlock we've come to associate with mid-century pulp. There's some intellectual grounding and plot twists that are true surprises. BTW, a "clip joint" is an adult entertainment establishment which scams you out of your money and, I think an "ace-deuce-trey" (house) is on in which three rooms are stacked one on top of another. ( )
  Tanya-dogearedcopy | Apr 4, 2013 |
This is classic noir fiction. A big city policeman searchs for reasons behind the suicide of another officer. But is it suicide? His sometime lover says no. Gangsters, secrets, and a surprise ending. I really enjoyed this one. ( )
  Kirconnell | Jul 11, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743452704, Paperback)

MURDER WAS IN THE AIR. A COP HAD KILLED HIMSELF, AND EVERY CROOK IN TOWN KNEW THAT WOULD BE SURE TO BRING ON THE BIG HEAT.

Why did they fear a dead man? Dave Bannion, homicide sergeant, fought for the answer to that question. The dead man was a police clerk who shot himself for no obvious reason. That was Bannion's first judgment, until a girl named Lucy presented a quite different picture of the dead man from the one he had shown to the world and to his fastidious, glacial wife.

Bannion's chief, Lieutenant Wilks, wanted the case closed and speculation ended quickly and tightly. So did Max Stone and Lagana, who held the city in a sinister, underworld grip. But why?

Why did they all fear a dead man . . . ?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:06 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A Philadelphia cop kills himself for no apparent reason. His wife claims it was because of poor health. Police Lieutenant Wilks wants the case closed and speculation ended, as do two of the city's mob bosses. But why, Detective Dave Bannion asks himself, do so many fear a dead man?… (more)

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