Hard Case Crime: Songs of Innocence

BOOK: Hard Case Crime: Songs of Innocence
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Raves For the Work of RICHARD ALEAS
!

“Excellent...Aleas has done a fine job of capturing both the style and the spirit of the classic detective novel.”


Chicago Sun-Times

“Barrels forth at the speed of [a] Manhattan taxi...and contains some whiplash-inducing plot twists...Tightly written from start to finish, this crime novel is as satisfyingly edgy as the pulp classics that inspired it.”


Publishers Weekly

“Little Girl Lost
is a wonderful novel, brilliantly plotted, beautifully written, and completely satisfying. I
loved
the book.”


Richard S. Prather

“A pleasant visit to an unpleasant society where honor and loyalty count for more than life.”


James Crumley

“Dark energy and period perfection.”


Chicago Tribune

“The most striking first chapter in recent memory...an absolutely terrific read.”


Craig Clarke

“Aleas builds his tale slowly and really throws it into high gear in the emotional final chapters.”


George Pelecanos

“[Aleas] succeeds in melding a classic hardboiled missing persons case and something a bit deeper with
Little Girl Lost’
s subtle but intriguing literary undertow.”


This Week

“Another standout [about a] man on a memorable downward spiral.”


The Boston Globe

“Aleas’ book is incredibly good.”


Sarah Weinman

“Gives Chandler a run for his money.”


Paramour

“A dark little gem about deadly compassion.”


Futures

“A great character with a very original voice.
Little Girl Lost
feels both old fashioned and bang up to date at the same time...diverting and exhilarating.”


Donna Moore

“Reads like O. Henry run amok in McBain’s 87th Precinct.”


Ink19

“Little Girl Lost
is classic pulp.”


Kevin Burton Smith, January Magazine

“An outstanding noir tale.”


Monsters and Critics

“[A] hot-blooded, classic crime novel.”


Femme Fatales

“A wonderful chase from start to finish.”


Charlie Stella

“[An] exciting first novel...I read
Little Girl Lost
twice and the second time I found it even more interesting.”


Swank

“Fans of taut, popcorn-tasty storytelling can buy any Hard Case Crime title with confidence, but [
Little Girl Lost
is one] of the most noteworthy.”


Booklist

“Excellent...terrific.”


The Globe and Mail

“Able to cut to the heart of a character or a situation with equal ease, he has a voice as unforgettable as his stories.”


Billie Sue Mosiman

“Little Girl Lost
belongs in your to-be-read stack, and should be grabbed post haste...If Aleas decides to continue with the Blake character, he could give us one of the best private eyes of this generation.”


Noir Originals

I finished unbuttoning my shirt and laid it on the sofa, rolled my pants up into a ball next to it. Dropped my wristwatch into one of my shoes. She looked away as I pulled down my underwear, busied herself with a row of plastic bottles by the CD player as I hoisted myself onto the table and lay down.

It was too dim to see whether she blushed when she turned around. “Face down,” she said.

I rolled over. She crouched by the bottles, uncapped one, and carried it back to the table.

She was wearing a peach-colored bra and a red bikini bottom. Once she was behind me, I heard her taking the bra off.

Harp strings played on the CD. So did flutes.

Her hands were cool and damp with lotion. They traveled down my back and up, down and up, down and up. Eventually they stayed down, and eventually she said I could turn over onto my back and I did.

“Close your eyes,” she said. She’d been working her way up from the soles of my feet and by then had spent about as much time as she could get away with kneading my shins. She worked up to my thighs and then hesitated. After a second, she squirted some more lotion into her palm and kept going.

I opened my eyes. Her legs weren’t shaking now. They were locked rigidly in place. Her shoulders were thrown back and her elbows were pinned by her sides. She was still wearing the bikini bottom and a thin gold necklace with a tiny cross on it, but nothing else. Tiny goosebumps stood out all over her breasts.

One of her hands was resting on my arm. The other wasn’t, either on my arm or resting. She was looking across the room at a poster for the 1988 season of the Metropolitan Opera, staring so hard at it that you’d have figured her for a real opera lover.

And that was how her new life began...

SOME OTHER HARD CASE CRIME BOOKS YOU WILL ENJOY:

LITTLE GIRL LOST
by Richard Aleas

THE GIRL WITH THE LONG GREEN HEART
by Lawrence Block

THE GUTTER AND THE GRAVE
by Ed McBain

NIGHT WALKER
by Donald Hamilton

A TOUCH OF DEATH
by Charles Williams

SAY IT WITH BULLETS
by Richard Powell

WITNESS TO MYSELF
by Seymour Shubin

BUST
by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr

STRAIGHT CUT
by Madison Smartt Bell

LEMONS NEVER LIE
by Richard Stark

THE LAST QUARRY
by Max Allan Collins

THE GUNS OF HEAVEN
by Pete Hamill

THE LAST MATCH
by David Dodge

GRAVE DESCEND
by John Lange

THE PEDDLER
by Richard S. Prather

LUCKY AT CARDS
by Lawrence Block

ROBBIE’S WIFE
by Russell Hill

THE VENGEFUL VIRGIN
by Gil Brewer

THE WOUNDED AND THE SLAIN
by David Goodis

BLACKMAILER
by George Axelrod

SONGS of INNOCENCE

by
Richard Aleas

A HARD CASE CRIME BOOK

(HCC-033)

First Hard Case Crime edition: July 2007

Published by

Titan Books

A division of Titan Publishing Group Ltd

144 Southwark Street

London

SE1 0UP

in collaboration with Winterfall LLC

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should know that it is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

Copyright © 2007 by Winterfall LLC

Cover painting copyright © 2007 by Glen Orbik

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Print edition ISBN 978-0-85768-358-8

E-book ISBN 978-0-85768-389-2

Cover design by Cooley Design Lab

Design direction by Max Phillips

www.maxphillips.net

Typeset by Swordsmith Productions

The name “Hard Case Crime” and the Hard Case Crime logo are trademarks of Winterfall LLC. Hard Case Crime books are selected and edited by Charles Ardai.

Printed in the United States of America

Visit us on the web at
www.HardCaseCrime.com

Sex is death’s way of making more dead bodies.

—Karl Kroeber

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part One

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Part Two

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Part Three

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

PART ONE

Can I see another’s woe,

And not be in sorrow too?

Can I see another’s grief,

And not seek for kind relief?

W
ILLIAM
B
LAKE
,

S
ONGS OF
I
NNOCENCE

Chapter 1

I was a private investigator once. But then we’ve all been things we aren’t anymore.

BOOK: Hard Case Crime: Songs of Innocence
11.08Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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