Looking at the cover, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Stephen King’s forthcoming book, ‘Later’ came out in the late 50s. The vintage pulp style of illustration reeks of bad girls in drainpipe jeans or lace negligees, tough guys in sharp suits and fedoras, punks with a rod or a blade in their back pocket and the engine growl of low-slung convertibles.
Hard Case Crime has an extensive list with famous authors like Cornell Woolrich, Donald Westlake, Charles Willeford and Lawrence Block, as well as forgotten writers only now being reprinted… all worth investigating.
But the covers all have one thing in common – they evoke an age of heists and gunplay, a sneer snarling wisecracks, hoodlums and hookers.
Hard-boiled crimes in simpler times.