Night Walker


An entry in the Hard-Case Crime series by Donald Hamilton, Night Walker suffers a bit in the plotting department, the noir department, and the writing department. It is adequate and light fluff, but hardly a heavy hitter, not even coming up to the standards of the Day Keene entry Home is the Sailor.

The story centers around a Navy Reserve Officer after WWII being called up to service again. Not keen about the idea he spends the travel money on a drunk and ends up hitchhiking his way to the hospital via a driver who picks him up and clubs him over the head. Add to that a reluctant murderer wife, some espionage, and a girl-fried who won't let go and you have a fairly typical noir mix. However, the atmosphere doesn't really have the menace necessary for a successful noir--nor is it steamy enough to move successfully into the hardboiled realm.

Hamilton is better known as the creator of Matt Helm, a detective/spy played with variable success in a series of films starring Dean Martin (heck, it was the Zeitgeist, you have Bond, Flynn, Helm, on television The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Saint, and The Avengers.

Anyway, if you haven't anything else to fill an idle hour-and-a-half, this can be entertaining enough. But I'd probably suggest you try the Day Keene or, so far at least, the Stephen King entry in the series The Colorado Kid.

Next up after The Colorado Kid--Paul Levine's The Deep Blue Alibi (more Florida Mystery), Michael Innes Sheiks and Adders and From London Far (lent me by a friend) and about two dozen Perry Mason. Found a stash that includes the first ten and I have about fourteen of my own. Yes, when the heat is on at work, the brain goes on vacation away.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 5, 2006 5:08 PM.

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