Thursday, August 8, 2019
Kitten with a Whip by Wade Miller
Average guy, David Patton, a San Diego engineer and family man is on his own while his wife and child visit family in San Francisco.
He wakes one morning to find a slinky teenage girl in a nightgown in his house.
She tells him of her escape from a harsh juvenile detention center and begs him to help her.
Does he toss her out and call the cops? No. Remember, this is noir.
He decides to help her. He buys her clothes. He drives her to the edge of town where she can catch a bus. He gives her money.
After making a few stops before going home, he walks into his house and there she is again.
Now Patton is giving himself acid reflux worrying about what the neighbors will think, and how to get rid of her in broad daylight.
She tries to seduce him. She threatens to tell the police he raped her. She threatens him with violence. And on and on.
At times, Patton’s bad decisions pile up so high that the book almost read like a dark comic novel.
Wade Miller was the pen name of the writing team of Bob Wade (1920-2012) and Bill Miller (1920-1961) who together wrote more than 30 novels, including Badge of Evil, which was the basis for Orson Welles’ film, “Touch of Evil.” There is more about them at Thrilling Detective.
And let’s hear it for Stark House, for their work in making these Wade Miller novels and many other hard-to-find books available.
(Also, please check out my crime novel, Lyme Depot. Thanks.)
(For more posts on books, head over to Todd Mason’s blog.)