Now that's what I call proper research! Hillarious stuff. But still, nothing really special when compared to Race Williams. According to Ms. Lee, Race's first appearance was in Black Mask's 1923 KKK special issue in the story titled "Knights of the Open Palm" in which he seriously considers joining the Klan. He finally decides against it because - now check this out! - joining would be “mighty bad” simply because if he were about to shoot someone and that someone showed himself to be a member of the Klan, because of the rules, Williams would have to drop his gun.
So, academic Detectives in the Shadows went temporarily back on the shelf and I started with Better Corpses not knowing exactly what to expect but certainly anticipating something special.
And something special I got. Delivered in spades! This thing is complete and total insanity. If Hammett is godfather to 90 percent of the authors on this blog, such accolade can safely be awarded to Mr. Daly for the remaining 10 percent. I know now where the weirdos like Mike Avallone came from. And all the destroyers, penetrators, executioners, inquisitors, liquidators, exterminators, and countless other action adventurers men.
I have this one in digital format so the facts section below will be a bit of copy & paste extravaganza. You cannot blame me really as the whole thing is infinitely quotable. I won't even try to write a review. It would take me too long and there's no way I can do justice to this little forgotten oddity. Instead, I encourage you to go through my selection of excerpts and I'm pretty sure you'll get the idea about this one. And also have a laugh or two along the way. I certainly have had plenty of them and Daly with his Race is now firmly on my eBay saved searches list.
Outrageous and unforgettable.
- There was a single shot. But it wasn't from Bertie's gun. I had jerked up my right hand and damn near shot his head off.
- I closed a finger once and put a blue hole in the white. The killer didn't cry out, didn't shriek repentant words for his past sins. He just twisted like a cork screw
- Andrew Boise, accountant gets killed off-page by mobsters. Stabbed in the back.
- My finger closed three times. And three bullets pounded into Gunner Slade's chest. I won't say all three went into his heart. I wasn't out to make any record for fine marksmanship.
- The rod, a thirty-eight, dropped into my hand, turned over once, and I placed a bullet in the wide open mouth of the lad, Louie.
- He just looked sort of dazed and surprised as he slid slowly to the floor and sat there. There was a single hole right in the center of his forehead. I wasn't wasting lead.
- And I put two more slugs into the Hooded Wonder. The figure started to fall forward then didn't. Sort of changed its mind and slumped in the chair... It was not to reason why. It was but to do and die. I mean that I'd do the doing and the figure would do the dying.[The Coolest!]
- a heavy body; a body without a head crashed to the floor.
- I was a little mad too. My suit had set me back seventy-five bucks, and I had burnt a hole in the pocket... Tony Lassario he was called and a knife was his stock in trade. He liked the silence. I grinned. He'd get plenty of it from now on.[The Coolest!]
- I was staggering though, going back when my finger closed. I was still going back when the hole appeared in the center of Jim’s forehead... Was he dead? He was so cold you could go ice skating on his chest.
- I squeezed lead once more and made a hole where his flat nose had been.
- I flipped back my hand and shot that face straight out of my life, and his too, for that matter.
- Did he fall dead on me pinning me to the floor? Not him—not a guy with forty-fours pounding into his chest. He picked himself up like an acrobat in the circus. Yes, picked himself up and went out on his back.
- Two shots into his stomach, another one into his chest. He was spinning like a top now, firing as he spun and I got him; got him just as clean as I ever got any man.
- How many are not killed by Race?
- How many are shot in the head?