Sand's War - Max Allan Collins, Ennis Willie I stumbled on this book through a mention by Max Allan Collins. Ennis Willie is another of those who has become relatively unknown, but who Collins considers one of the best of the noir genre. He wrote about 21 hard-boiled novels in the early sixties and then disappeared from writing. It was later discovered he had opened a printing business in Atlanta and given up writing.

Ed Gorman and Collins have been part of the resurrection of his books and I thought I would give one a whirl. I liked it.

Sand (notice the use of one name only, a characteristic of the Parker and Nolan novels)is on the run from the mob and has sought shelter in an old gothic castle-like house run by the hunchback Count Bello who guarantees the safety of his guests. That guarantee was shattered. Sand is forced to defend himself against a mob plant and then help investigate the murder of a young woman who is found outside his room on the balcony. Then another woman is killed.

Not high art by any means, and the sex scenes are very chaste sixties and a bit unreal, but if you are at all interested in the evolution of the hard-boiled genre, this is a must.