Justin Marriott [ed.] - Men of Violence: All Review Special (Paperback Fanatic, June 2019)
Introduced by the editor with a foreword from author and ex-LAPD detective Paul Bishop, a black & white. A 90-page bluffers guide to the explosive world of vintage men's adventure paperbacks, featuring multiple maniac bad cops, vigilantes, mercenaries, anti-mobsters, & Co. Over 100 such titles are taken outside and given a proper good kicking by Messr's Marriott and Bishop, Ben Boulden, Jim O'Brien, Andrew Byers, Andreas Decker, Mike Hauss, Morgan Holmes, Scott Kime, The Paperback Warrior, Scott Randalli, Simon Ruleman, Ben Spurling and Richard Toogood.
Of course, the great thing about reviews of novels you've absolutely-no-interest-in-reading is that you can enjoy them safe in the knowledge that for once, open wallet surgery will not be required. Sure, you'd pick up a reasonably stratospherically overpriced The Headhunters: Quadrophonic Homicide if you saw a copy lying around, and it goes without saying that Torture Love Cage is must-have, I mean, everyone knows that. Then there's Mike Newton's The Hunter #1: The Ripper (or rather, two white van Ripper's for the price of one, raping and skinning L.A. hookers). How about Andrew McCoy's Atrocity Week ("I am aware that by condemning the book for being beyond-the-pale, it puts it [on] many people's must-have list ..." - watch those internet prices soar)? Maybe not quite so essential, Peter Lovesley's period punch up, The Detective Wore Silk Drawers ("I genuinely hoped the lead character was a transvestite ... " Well, there's always the cross dressers of violence in Dick Moreland's Albion! Albion!).
A big plus is that this issue takes ages to read (it has me, anyhow). Began with the cursory flick through, then on to targeting the most promising titles and/or covers, finally giving it the full works over three evenings.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.