Saturday, December 22, 2007

Stool Pigeon by Louis Malley

Stool Pigeon by Louis Malley.
Avon 551, Copright 1953

Whenever I find a hardboiled paperback that takes place during the Christmas season, I set it aside and save it for December to read. This is one of my favorites.

The setting is Little Italy in Manhattan and Detective Vincent Milazzo grew up in these tough streets. Someone blew the brains out of small time hood Tony Statella's head and guess who gets the case. It leads the Homicide Detective through hookers, rapists, junkies, dirty cops, dirty picture takers, stoolies, ex-cons, street punks and the neighborhood mob. This is all on Christmas Eve-talk about putting a damper on the festive season!

Reading, we discover that Detective Milazzo is also on a journey. One that starts with him telling himself, "He was getting tired. If they push too hard he'd tell them where they could stick his badge." Will he climb his way out of the urban filth, with its broken people in their dilapidated tenements?

Malley's creates a bleak, dirty and depressed setting for the streets of
Little Italy in the early 50's. He does it so well, the reader wishes for snow to come to clean the place up.

This is an excellent novel.

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