Monday, February 11, 2008

Tears Are For Angels by Paul Connolly

Tears Are For Angles by Paul Connolly
Gold Medal 224, Copyright 1952

Gold Medal published three novels by Paul Connolly. Two are average at best, but one shines above both of those. "Tears Are For Angels" is an excellent story that contains many twists and surprises.

The story revolves around Harry London. He catches his wife in bed with local man Dick Stewart. London has a gun and plans to kill the guy, but a fight occurs, the gun goes off and he finds his wife shot dead. Stewart is gone and London knows he is looking at a murder rap. He sets it up to look like a murder/suicide gone wrong. He shoots himself in the arm to strengthen his story that his wife was going to kill him first, then herself. London not only loses his wife, but also his arm is amputated. This spirals him into a deep depression, which he blames on the man that was with his wife. Feeling like half-a-man, he drinks away his problems until he decides to kill Stewart, who has ruined his life.

"We were digging his grave, all right. And we were digging a deep, hollow, clammy one for ourselves, right beside it."

London takes up with county girl Jean in a backwoods shack. She agrees to help him kill Stewart and they both plan to get some money out of it. But Jean actually helps him gain his self-respect. She shows him a different side of his wife, which he failed to understand before. Later London, Jean and Stewart are all drawn together and there is an excellent ending that takes place at a damned lake. There we learn all that took place on that night when London's wife was killed.

A remarkable novel that is more than a crime/murder story . It shows how a man can fall so much until he has a reason to build himself up again. The reason could be a woman or even vengeance. A story of betrayal and self justice, where a man's soul must be found among the ruins that he has made himself.

The two other Gold Medal books by Paul Connolly are "Get Out of Town" (GM#188) and "So Fair, So Evil." (GM#500)

1 comment:

Ed Gorman said...

I'm pretty sure (not positive though) that Paul Connelly was a pen-name for NY Times reporter Tom Wicker.