Over a year ago, I discovered the hardboiled genius of writer Richard S. Prather in a small used bookstore in Red Hook. The back cover blurb had bite and I blew a few bucks on a cheap risk. I sat on a stoop and was instantly titillated by Prather's literary swagger and made allegiant to his saucy mirth. More than that, I'd found my 1950s pulp counterpart. I'd found a new reason to read and write. I was complete.
I turn 38 on May 31st [don't go wishing me "happy birthday" yet -- let's save that for Tuesday when I'll need it.]. Somehow, chatterbox_dc knew this and he mailed me a hardcover of Prather's final SHELL SCOTT novel [written in 1987] called SHELLSHOCK. I was floored by chatterbox_dc's keen determination and precious gift. Excited, I wondered "had Prather lost his luster?" Could he still open a chapter like no other author I'd ever encountered? I flipped to the first page and read it slowly and methodically. He hadn't missed a beat. I was Prather's bitch, hook, line, and sinker! Then, I noticed something strange. A previous page seemed to have been marked up by blue ink. So, I flipped back the page and froze. I couldn't believe my eyes.
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