Created by Shepard Rifkin (1918 --)
"We rolled into Fayetteville at three in the morning. Very few towns are appealing at that time, and most American cities are way down at the bottom of the list."
-- the opening lines of The Murderer Vine.
Slotted for a May 2008 release is the long-awaited HardCaseCrime reprint (complete with the obligatory "pulpy" new cover) of Shepard Rifkin's The Murderer Vine, first published way back in 1970.
It's a real hard-boiled chunk of a period piece, as big city New York private eye JOE DONNE is hired by the wealthy father of one of three idealistic college kids who took off on their summer vacation for Mississippi to work for civil rights. And never came back...
Except the father isn't too concerned about bringing the boys' killers to justice -- he'd prefer something a little more basic and Old Testament. And he's willing to pay to get what he want -- he offers Donne one hundred thousand dollars to kill each of the five suspected killers, including the local sheriff.
It's like Death Wish meets Mississippi Burning, with a little Mickey Spillane tossed in for good measure.
The author, according to Hard Case Crime, "served on the S. S. Ben Hecht in 1947 and was imprisoned by the British in Acre Prison (a fortress on the northern coast of what is now Israel) after a failed attempt to run the British blockade of Palestine while transporting hundreds of refugees from the Holocaust. Rifkin and his crewmates were released -- but not before smuggling a camera into the prison, enabling what has been called "one of the most spectacular prison breaks in history. None of which has anything to do with The Murderer Vine -- but what a great story!" Rifkin wrote several other crime thrillers, and at least three books featuring New York cop Lt. Damian McQuaid, as well as the standalone novel, Desire Island.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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