JONATHAN GANT – Never Say No to a Killer. Ace Double D-157, paperback original, 1956.

JONATHAN GANT Never Say No to a Killer

   Someone on this blog recommended Never Say No to a Killer by Jonathan Gant, so when I found a copy cheap, I picked it up. And I’m glad I did.

   This one owes a lot to Horace McCoy’s Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, starting with a prison break, and hurtling the violent, amoral protagonist into near-control of illicit activities in a big city until he’s tripped up by…

   Well, that would be telling too much, and while Never Say No speeds across the same ground as Kiss Tomorrow, it lacks the depth and vocabulary of Horace McCoy’s classic.

   What it does offer is fast, slick writing and a pace that never falters. Worth checking out for fans of hard-boiled crime willing to waste a few hours enjoyably.

Editorial Comments: The “someone” who brought this book up earlier was Bill Crider, in of his columns on Gold Medal writers which he originally did for the print version of Mystery*File. The writer he discussed, though, was Clifton Adams, Jonathan Gant being a pen name he sometimes used. You can read the entire piece here on the blog.

   The other half of this particular Ace Double paperback was Stab in the Dark, by Louis Trimble. Nothing by Trimble under his own name has been reviewed here on the blog, but I did one of Bring Back Her Body, which he wrote as by Stuart Brock. You can find it way back here.