170n 08/46 Three Times a Corpse

Chuck Welch
August 13, 2006 - 1946 / Bantam 169-180 / degrouchy / larkin / novel / pulp / ravel

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All Doc wanted was a quiet vacation, but what he gets instead is a femme fatale with a curious lucky streak, a bottle of poisoned bourbon, and a man who dies three times!

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  1. Thomas Fortenberry says:

    Doc on vacation? Well, maybe he needed it desparately because this book has a bombshell revelation that Doc has been losing his zest for adventuring, is burned out and been having doubts about his “career” for a while. Say it ain’t so!

    Well, despite his desire to be ingonito, it says here that Doc as part Galahad and knight is as physically noticeable as a neon sign. No rest for the Bronze Man.

    Of course eating the same meal at the smae restaurant at the same time every night is not helping someone remain unobtrusive, and might even hint at psychosis. But we’ll leave that alone and get on with the murdering.

    Doc is recognized throughout the sotry, but it is a good thing. The restauranteur helps Doc because Doc helped save his brother with a charity medical school. A cop recognizes Doc from a lecture he gave at FBI headquarters, and more amazing Doc recognizes him from the audience of the same. Are you kidding me? But anyway, the cops let Doc and gang do what they want, even when it breaks the rules. Monk says, “We got influence.”

    In one turnabout, the character Lucky doesn’t know Doc but knows Pat and uses her products (which Doc thinks are 20X too expensive).

    Hamism: In a great pun Ham is called the group’s “legal blade” and sicked on the ADA when he starts trouble. Doc knows Ham will wrap him in a legal web and silence him.

    Historical note: A Chicago boxing championship is mentioned here with a dramatic 6th round knockout. I looked up various boxing records and thought it was Jake La Motto, but his was a 7th round win. Then I discovered this part of the Rocky Graziano bio and I believe the answer: “A non-stop street fighter, Graziano had three historic bouts with Tony Zale. In the first, a middleweight championship fight on September 27, 1946, Zale seemed on the verge of collapse under Graziano’s pounding, but he suddenly scored a 6th-round knockout to hold onto the title.” So it must have been Rocky that was KOed.

    Finally, Doc is brutalized a bit. In one scene he is shot twice and though the vest saves his life, he has cracked ribs and much pain. Later he is punched in those ribs and blacks out because of it. (Guess that’d be going own like Rocky in the 6th). But, damn. Not much of a vacation after all.

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