Friday, September 21, 2018
FFB: Stool Pigeon by Louis Malley
Detective Milazzo, who grew up in the neighborhood, joined the police department, made good, and got promoted to detective, now needs to find a stool pigeon to break this case. But the neighborhood is traditionally wary of talking to the police. Even though Milazzo is one of them, his choice of profession makes him an outsider.
The dead man is part of a pornography racket luring young women, making sure they are soon broke, then sending them into clubs and onto the street to earn for them. These gangsters have mob connections and may even have powerful members of the police force protecting them. Milazzo finds himself up against the old neighborhood, organized crime, and his own department.
Louis Malley obviously knew how the mob and the cops operated in his era. He uses that knowledge and creates some fine character studies in this suspenseful, fast-paced novel. Every page of Stool Pigeon feels real and true.
Little is written about Louis Malley, other than he was born and raised in New York City and he published four novels: Horns for the Devil, 1951, (reviewed here) which was later republished as Shadow of the Mafia; Stool Pigeon, 1953, later republished as Shakedown Strip; Tiger in the Streets, 1957; and The Love Mill, 1961.
According to court records and a newspaper report, Malley was shot and killed in 1962 at age 40.
Today, Malley’s novels are hard to find, but Stark House Press plans to bring out Stool Pigeon as one of its Black Gat Books.
(For more posts on books, check out Patti Abbott’s blog.)