Carny Kill by Robert Edmond Alter

By Robert Edmond Alter

A masterpiece of lurid threat from the underbelly of the South.On his first day operating for Cochrane's carny, Thaxton chanced on that his new boss used to be married to his ex-wife.  On the second one day he came upon his boss's body--with considered one of May's throwing knives planted firmly in its chest.With its impeccably rendered carnival environment and its deliriously crooked array of spielers, luck-boys, and dancing ladies with indecent hips and sub-zero hearts, Carny Kill is crime fiction at its so much devious and stinky.

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I'll have Gabby set you up a stand. " "Like a whistle," I said. I really did like him. It was dusk when I came out and Neverland was full of clamor. Cochrane's lot got a good play. The place was laid out like a wagonwheel with a big garden in the hub. It had a fountain with colored lights and liquid music coming out of the water and that sort of thing. The Coke and popcorn and ice-cream vendors wheeled their barrows up and down the flowered lanes and hawked their appeals to the common hunger and thirst of the citizenry.

It was next door to Bill Duffy's bally platform. That was nice. Just a couple of old carny buddies working side by side. We looked at each other and looked away. A shelf had been rigged behind my stand and it contained a vivid white orchid display. " I asked Gabby. " "The boss don't allow cash for cash gambling," Gabby told me. "We let the marks win an orchid. You're just here for the atmosphere. " "Yeah. But it only costs the mark a quarter a try. " "Naw. These here are what they call saprophytic orchids.

Billie looked up at me. " "Uh-uh. Why get involved? " I turned back to Jerry. " "Sure. Everything but the Swamp Ride. Lieutenant Ferris, the dick in charge, was set to hold us closed. " Jerry didn't wink again. I figured he meant May when he said Madame Cee. I looked at Billie. There was nothing else to say. Not with Jerry the kid with the ears standing there. "I'll see you later, Thax," she said. I liked the way she looked at me when she said it. I said, "Sure. " Then I watched her walk away and it was something to look at--the way she handled that stern action.

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