And Sudden Death (1940) first appeared as a 6-part serial in Detective Fiction Weekly under the title “Homicide: Honolulu Bound”. It's a direct sequel (at least in sub-plot) to Sabotage. Private detective Rex McBride is still smarting over what happened to his lady love in the first book, and she is often on his mind.
This time, Rex’s job is to follow a woman to Hawaii, where she just might be planning to rendezvous with her husband - a man who betrayed his business partners and absconded with two million dollars. In 1940, that must have been a ton of dough.
In the Sabotage review, I addressed the charge by some 80s-era critics that McBride is a racist. This book offers evidence to the contrary. While other characters express distrust of Japanese folk, Rex does not. When the fellow on the pulp cover asks to borrow his binoculars, Rex agrees. He finds he genuinely likes the guy and invites him to shoot craps. Even later, when they become adversaries, McBride retains his respect for him.
And Sudden Death was reprinted at least once in digest (with a hideous cover) but I don’t believe it ever appeared in a regular paperback. Too bad. It’s a good read, and I’m looking forward to the next book, Decoy.
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For your reading pleasure, I recently posted a complete Cleve F. Adams novelette called "Jigsaw".
For links to more of today's Forgotten Books, visit Patti Abbott's pattinase.