Friday, January 7, 2011

Book Review: W. T. Ballard, Dealing Out Death (1948)

Dealing Out Death is a hardboiled whodunit with a spur-of-the-moment detective. Bill Lennox is a talent-scout for a major Hollywood studio. When one of his actresses abandons a shoot to help her ne’er-do-well brother in Vegas, Lennox chases after her to bring her back. Then people start getting killed; the actress ends up in jail; and Lennox gets caught in the middle of a turf war between the Vegas establishment and eastern gangsters who want to establish a casino in town. When local law becomes more concerned with the brewing war than the murder cases, Lennox takes it upon himself to identify the killer. Acceptable, but nothing memorable. Grade: C+

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