Night Extra by William P. McGivern audiobook

Night Extra

By William P. McGivern
Read by Johnny Heller

Blackstone Publishing 9780425111901
5.57 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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Crooked politics and twisted passions explodeinto murder and a terrifying frame-up! A scream of terror shatters the quiet ofthe big city’s swank residential section. When the police arrive at RichardCaldwell’s house, they find him drunk and dazed, staring at the beautiful girlwho lies dead at his feet. It looks like an out-and-out murder case—but is it? Reporter Sam Terrell thinks it is a frame-up and sets out to get the truth.

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Summary

Summary

Crooked politics and twisted passions explodeinto murder and a terrifying frame-up!

A scream of terror shatters the quiet ofthe big city’s swank residential section. When the police arrive at RichardCaldwell’s house, they find him drunk and dazed, staring at the beautiful girlwho lies dead at his feet. It looks like an out-and-out murder case—but is it? Reporter Sam Terrell thinks it is a frame-up and sets out to get the truth.

Reviews

Reviews

by Bertie Wooster 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Almost Perfect But Not Quite

Full disclosure up front: I love Film Noir. And, just like The Maltese Falcon, Night Extra is a noir film in your ear buds. Narrator Johnny Heller adds just the right amount of gritty realism to his delivery without tipping over into parody (heck, his name is even “Johnny”). The story includes all the right kind of characters: an alcoholic, divorced, driven newspaper editor, a younger, hard-bitten reporter (Sam Terrell, our hero) who sees the editor’s flaws but looks up to him anyway, a dead nightclub singer, a live nightclub singer, a corrupt mayor, and hoods that come in both sizes: big- and small-time. And beyond being merely well written the story is well constructed. For all the formulaic elements it is believable and, at times, even moving.

That said, there are two scenes that interrupt the seamlessness of this journey into the naked city. First is an encounter Terrell has with a barber he uses as a regular informant. The stream of useful tips is a payback for the time Sam publicized the illness of the barber’s little girl. The public responded with cash donations that paid for…you know the rest.

Sorry. Just a little too pat. Up to this point in the story it was more than apparent that, underneath his gruff exterior, Sam had a heart of gold. We didn’t need anything else to prove it. Or at least the reason for the barber’s willing complicity—a dangerous and even heroic complicity, seeing as his shop is in the lobby of the hotel the hoods use as their GHQ—could have been touched on a bit more lightly.

The second cringe-maker is when Sam takes one of the nightclub singers—the live one, not the dead one—to a party some friends of his are throwing out in the spacious suburbs. It is the made-to-order setting for a speech against the ‘burbs, where people turn their backs on the broken city and evade their responsibilities to, for example, fix rotten schools. Published in 1957 and therefore before the official war on poverty, it sounds now like a period piece. Almost 60 years and trillions of dollars later the schools are worse than ever (one wonders what qualified as a bad school in 1957). Granted, this particular cringe is not our author’s fault; it is the result of hindsight. Nevertheless, there it is.

My final quibble is with the broken city itself. Somehow it manages to both be and not be New York. We are told it is a major port. Crummy Jersey shore hotels are a mere two hours’ car ride away. But its layout is nothing like Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens. And the city fathers who built it are still alive. Their role in making the place “great” is their main excuse for their current corruption; it is “their” city to do with as they please. Writers make up cities all the time. But they’re usually less coy about it.

That said, I’m probably being so hard on this book because I enjoyed it so much. There are fine character studies here (especially the press chief for the reform candidate for mayor, an idealistic college history professor who knows he’s in over his head). The nuances in certain conversations will make you hit rewind to listen again. While this is firmly in the noir mainstream, it also has what makes noir stories transcend that well-worn channel: memorable, believable characters and a gripping story that carries you along. Also, there’s a good deal of humor here. When a hood snarls that Terrell and he are “not even in the same league”, Sam comes back with, “Well, maybe we’ll meet in the series”.

Got this on sale but well worth the full price.

Author

Author Bio: William P. McGivern

Author Bio: William P. McGivern

William P. McGivern (1919–1982), born in Chicago, grew up in Mobile, Alabama. After quitting high school, he started to write. He served in World War II and then studied in England before returning to the United States, where he worked as a police reporter for the Philadelphia Bulletin. After his first novels appeared in the 1940s, he received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. In the 1960s he and his wife moved to Hollywood, where he wrote for film and television. Several of his books were made into motion pictures, including The Big Heat and Rogue Cop.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Mystery & Detective
Runtime: 5.57
Audience: Adult
Language: English