The only redeeming feature of Stephen King's disastrous The Colorado Kid is its dedication page, which plugs Dan J. Marlowe's The Name of the Game Is Death, a noir classic featuring a sociopathic antihero of the Jim Thompson variety. The novel builds to a feverish ending which, to my mind, strains too much for effect--but this opinion may well find me in the minority. Grade: B+
A pro football player, forced into retirement by injury, tries blackmail as a new career, and noir ensues. Most of The Big Bite is top-tier Charles Williams, but the narrative is marred by its ending, which comes from a bit too far out in left field. Read A Touch of Death first--a similar Charles Williams novel executed with greater elegance, and easily available from Hard Case Crime. Grade: B
A: Excellent. I intend to read it again. B: Good. I might read it again. C: So-so. I didn't mind reading it. D: Bad. I resented reading it. F: Atrocious. I finished it only because I'm compulsive that way.