|Vintage Pulp||May 26 2023|
We featured an Australian cover for James O. Causey's Killer Take All about five years ago, but have only gotten around to actually reading the book now. The 1957 Graphic edition you see above has Roy Lance cover art, and we like it. We liked the story too. The protagonist was not a cop or criminal, but a golf pro, a guy who tried to make it on the PGA tour but failed. Now he works at a country club, and one day the woman who left him without a word while he was trying to make the big time turns up hitting balls on the range. She's married to another man, and since her husband isn't a nice person that's all the heartbroken hero needs to get neck deep in trouble. His difficulties start with losing fistfights to his rival, progress to a murder rap, and quickly to another, then to a web of deceit involving contraband art, and finally to a full-on Wide Eyes Shut circle of sexual thrillseekers. All in all, the novel is a pretty good journey. And importantly, it features a hero you can root for. He's a bit hapless, but never quite helpless. We'll keep an eye out for more Causey. He hit a lot of good notes with Killer Take All.