"But you better not do that; you better not look back. If you do, you'll require another drink, a great many drinks. So please don't do that, please don't allow yourself to remember."
Hardboiled crime writer David Goodis isn't quite up there with Chandler and Hammett, the Homer and Virgil of crime fiction, but he's pretty good. "Down There" was filmed by Truffaut as "Shoot the Piano Player" and "Dark Passage" was turned into a film with Bogart and Bacall. I'd suggest starting with the Library of America's collection of his novels. This 1955 is a little unusual for the period in that it's set in a foreign country, in this case Jamaica. A husband and wife whose marriage is on the rocks travel there and things just get worse. He drinks, has an affair, and gets involved in a murder. The prose is sharp, the characters right on the edge, the plot pulpy with some tinges of melodrama. I'd pour yourself a stiff one and dig in.
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