Shakedown - William Campbell Gault - ebook

Shakedown ebook

William Campbell Gault

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A corrupt P.I. will do anything to make a buck and save his own skin. Joe Puma didn't kill Albert Target, but he is happy the pimp is dead. A small-time creep whose niche was recruiting wannabe actresses, Target perjured himself for Puma's sake, and the detective was afraid he might decide to talk. The cops know that Puma's crooked, but they can't prove a thing. He's a slick operator with an itchy trigger finger and a flimsy moral code - two things he'll need if his next case is to end as happily as his last. Fallen starlet Jean Roland comes to Puma with a plan to blackmail her lesbian lover's father - a dangerous scheme that would put Puma off if Roland weren't the most stunning woman in Los Angeles. Joe Puma likes money and he likes being alive, but he likes women even more. He'd die for a girl like Jean Roland - but he'd prefer it if someone else died first.

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Contents

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Cast of Characters

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Looking for more suspense?

Cover

Begin Reading

About the Book

A corrupt P.I. will do anything to make a buck and save his own skin.

Joe Puma didn’t kill Albert Target, but he is happy the pimp is dead. A small-time creep whose niche was recruiting wannabe actresses, Target perjured himself for Puma’s sake, and the detective was afraid he might decide to talk. The cops know that Puma’s crooked, but they can’t prove a thing. He’s a slick operator with an itchy trigger finger and a flimsy moral code - two things he’ll need if his next case is to end as happily as his last.

Fallen starlet Jean Roland comes to Puma with a plan to blackmail her lesbian lover’s father - a dangerous scheme that would put Puma off if Roland weren’t the most stunning woman in Los Angeles. Joe Puma likes money and he likes being alive, but he likes women even more. He’d die for a girl like Jean Roland - but he’d prefer it if someone else died first.

About the Author

William Campbell Gault (1910–1995) was a critically acclaimed pulp novelist. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he took seven years to graduate from high school. Though he was part of a juvenile gang, he wrote poetry in his spare time, signing it with a girl’s name lest one of his friends find it. He sold his first story in 1936, and built a great career writing for pulps like Paris Nights, Scarlet Adventures, and the infamous Black Mask. In 1939, Gault quit his job and started writing fulltime.

Shakedown

A Joe Puma Mystery

William Campbell Gault

 

BASTEI ENTERTAINMENT

 

Bastei Entertainment is an imprint of Bastei Lübbe AG

 

Copyright © 2015 by Bastei Lübbe AG, Schanzenstraße 6-20, 51063 Cologne, Germany

 

For the original edition:

Copyright © 2012 by The Mysterious Press, LLC, 58 Warren Street, New York, NY. U.S.A.

 

Copyright © 1953 by William Campbell Gault

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

Cover design by Jason Gabbert

 

E-book production: Jouve Germany GmbH & Co. KG

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-340-4

 

www.bastei-entertainment.com

 

All rights reserved, including without limitation the right to reproduce this e-book or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

CAST OF CHARACTERS

JOE PUMA—He stalked a deadly prey that had too many eyes.

JEAN ROLAND—She came bringing gifts, but she remained to collect what was coming to her.

CHARLES ROLAND—This master of confidence men didn’t mind using his own daughter for sucker bait.

PETER DEUTSCHER—He talked himself into a caper that had death for a prize.

JOSIE GONZALES—Her love was for sale, but for certain men the price was murderous.

MANNY RODRIGUEZ—He was a man-hunter too, but he had a license for the job.

CAPTAIN MCGILL—He was head of the Homicide Squad and believed in giving killers all the rope they needed.

CHAPTER TWO

I HAD TWO STRIKES on me right from the start in this Target mess. The first was a semi-trailer that had jackknifed in Cahuenga Pass. They had the truck pulled out of the left-hand lanes by the time I reached there, but it cut the gap down for traffic, and traffic was already jammed for five miles on both sides of the accident.

That made me a half hour late.

And then when I got to the twelve thousand block on Moorpark, I didn’t even notice the cars parked around the corner. This was the triplex where Albert Target lived and he had the rear apartment, which in this town, meant he had a backyard and a fence. His fence was high, a woven redwood deal with a seven foot gate.

I opened the gate and looked into the eyes of Captain McGill. He was sitting on a stone bench in the garden here, talking to a uniformed officer. He looked at me for seconds.

Then he said, “Well, Puma—Come in, come in and close the gate behind you.”

I came in slowly and took my time about latching the gate, trying to figure the deal. McGill was head of Homicide, and we’d tangled just recently on another case involving Albert Target.

The patrolman went away and McGill patted the stone bench. “Come here. Sit down and enjoy the view.”

McGill was playing it cute. A chill moved through my damp shoulders. “What’s happened, Captain?”

“Sit down,” he said.

I sat down. And sitting down, I saw the man I’d come to see. Through the full length window that overlooked the garden, I could see Albert Target. He was lying on the floor in there and there was a man kneeling over him, a man who looked like a cop.

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!