Red-hot and redheaded, he's looking for adventure on the mean streets of San Francisco and New Orleans! He's Brett Halliday's hard-boiled creation Michael Shayne. This rough and reckless Irishman is letting loose in this collection of 16 pulse-pounding dramas starring tough guys Wally Maher and Jeff Chandler. Cathy Lewis co-stars as Phyllis Knight, with Joe Forte as Homicide Inspector Faraday, and Jack Webb as Homicide Inspector LeFevre.
"The Good and the bad."
From its launch in 1920 until its demise in 1951, the magazine Black Mask published pulp crime fiction. The first hard-boiled detective stories appeared on its pages. Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, Erle Stanley Gardner and John D. MacDonald got their start in Black Mask. The urban crime stories that appeared in Black Mask helped to shape American culture. Modern computer games, films, and television are rooted in the fiction popularized by “the seminal and venerated mystery pulp magazine” (Booklist).
After being run out of Arizona on a trumped-up murder charge, the Rio Kid spent three years in Mexico, learning how to shoot quicker than any man on the range. Now he's headed home to clear his name. But before he reaches Arizona, the Kid will have to pass through the deadliest border region in the West. Nestled snugly in a bend of the Rio Grande, Hell's Half Acre is a lawless outpost claimed by both Mexico and the United States, and belonging to neither. There, justice comes from the barrel of a six-gun, and the only sentence is death.
Twister Malone and Chuckaluck Thompson are making their way through a West Texas canyon when they smell death. Finally, the two emerge onto the mesa, where they encounter the site of a massacre. A whole family of deer lies dead around a small pond, their skeletons bleached by the Texas sun. Someone has poisoned the water hole. Then a rider comes around the corner, rifle in hand, and gets the drop on Twister and Chuckaluck.
Three years ago, the sheriff of Chapparell, Arizona, was shot dead. Eighteen-year-old Hugh Aiken was falsely accused of the murder and forced to ride south with a lynch mob hot on his trail. He spent the time since hiding out in Mexico, growing from a fresh-faced Texas youth into the hardened gunman known far and wide as the Rio Kid. Now his exile is over. Chapparell has changed since the Kid last set foot on its dusty streets. Most of the ranchers are dead broke, save for one bloodthirsty scoundrel, Henry Pelham.
At first, Twister Malone and Chuckaluck Thompson think it must be a mirage. If real, the willow trees they see on the horizon mean that water is nearby, and in this dusty stretch of the Southwest, water is rarer than gold. They rub the grit from their eyes, yet the sight remains. There really is water up ahead - and death just around the corner. Someone has opened a sluicegate, allowing all the precious liquid to drain into the dirt. When Twister and Chuckaluck close the gate and the roaring stops, a woman screams, "Don't let him get away! He was going to kill me!"
Sheriff Stevens should be the happiest man in Powder Valley. After a shootout with a gang of outlaws nearly cost him his life, he promised Sally he would hang his guns up for good. But trouble is coming to the Valley. In nearby Dusty Canyon, a troop of hooded killers menaces the honest miners who toil in the local goldmines. The local sheriff has already been wounded once trying to stop them, but he continues the fight - and begs for Pat's help.
After three years in exile in Mexico, the Rio Kid slipped back into the United States, evading the clutches of a Texas Ranger, a crooked rancher, and a gang of desperadoes. Now he's ready to press on to Arizona to clear his name and find his fortune. There may be a $10,000 price on his head, but the Kid is unafraid - he has his gun, his horse, and his freedom. When a scream splits the black Texas night, the outlaw rides toward it. In a godforsaken cave, four men are beating a terrified young boy. The Kid draws two .45s and steps into the line of fire.
A lone rider stops at the border, preparing to return to the United States for the first time in three years. When he left for Mexico, the Rio Kid was 18, a terrified youngster fleeing a fraudulent murder charge. He returns a grown man, with blood on his hands and twin .45s on his hips. His destination is a small town in Arizona, where he plans to clear his name and reclaim his legacy. But there is a lot of trail between here and there. Wanted signs paper every border town, offering $10,000 for the Rio Kid - dead or alive.
Carved into the rugged landscape of the Big Bend region by the hoofs of galloping horses bearing desperate men, it crosses the muddy waters of the Rio Grande into Mexico, where freedom - of a kind - can be found. Ten years ago Jim Markle rode the trail south, fleeing for his life. Now he's coming home with a new name: Stormy Knight. For years young Jim had chafed under his stepfather's whip. Everything changed the night he gunned down the evil old man.
Twister Malone and Chuckaluck Thompson can't catch a break. All they want is a trail to follow straight through to Mexico, where a ranching job offers honest work, peace, and quiet. But no matter how fast they ride, trouble keeps hot on their heels. A gunshot breaks the silence of the lonely wagon road. By the time Twister and Chuckaluck reach the corpse, the killer is long gone. In the victim's pocket they find a letter from a woman begging for help, a woman whose savior now lies dead in the alkali dust.