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In this hard-edged thriller, Jim Wilson is a rough-and-tumble road contractor in Moline, South Carolina, a corrupt place where only the most savage survive. Wilson makes no apologies for his ferocity. Raised by an uncle who regularly whipped him, used to taking beatings until he learned to fight back, Wilson lets no-one take advantage of him. After revenging himself on his cheating wife, he takes up with her best friend, an ambitious woman whose ability to connive and manipulate are more than equal to Wilson’s. From that point, the story rushes with locomotive speed toward an explosion of violence. This is one of the finest examples of the work of Dan J. Marlowe (1914-1986), a master of hard-boiled fiction lauded by no less a craftsman than bestselling horror novelist Stephen King.

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