Friday, April 19, 2013

Forgotten Books: COME EASY - GO EASY by James Hadley Chase

There’s nothing fancy about James Hadley Chase’s prose. The narrator of Come Easy - Go Easy tells his tale in simple I did this and she did that fashion. The strength here is in the story. While the simplicity of the prose keeps you moving in a straight line, the story sneaks up from behind and socks you over the head.

Our hero Chet Carson works for the Lawrence Safe Corp, making him an expert on opening safes. The loot the company’s clients put in their safes tempts him until he can no longer resist, and he plans a heist with good buddy and fellow safe-expert Roy. But the job goes sour, Roy kills a guy and scampers, leaving Chet holding the bag.

Unfortunately for Chet, he’s too loyal to finger Roy, so he’s sentenced to a long spell in prison. Finding conditions intolerable, he risks everything on an escape - and makes it. But as you can probably guess, his troubles are only beginning.

Chet finds himself a sweet place to hide - a backend of beyond service station in a place called Point of No Return, only to find himself intwined with a money-hungry woman and another Lawrence Safe full of loot. And, worst of all, his old “pal” Roy.

First published in the UK in 1960, Come Easy - Go Easy is now the first half of a JHC double from Stark House Press. I’m now looking forward to the second half!

More Forgotten Books at pattinase!


7 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Chase's editions at Panther had leggy covers which rivaled any American paperback (not, mind you, pulp) cheesecake.

George said...

Art Scott has a great collection of James Hadley Chase CORGI paperbacks with sexy covers.

Todd Mason said...

Ha! I'll suggest I find the Corgi covers either too blatant...or, conversely, not quite revealing enough!

Richard R. said...

While they talk about the cover, I want to talk about the book. When and where was this one written? Is it supposed to take place in the American midwest?

Evan Lewis said...

Like most (I believe) of Chase's thrillers - and there were a LOT of them - this one is set in the USA. The prison and most towns appear to be fictional, but Point of No Return does seem to be in one of the Four Corners states. The book mentions Oakland several times, but it's likely not the one in CA, because it's described as "the largest town in the district."

Oscar said...

I liked the Chase novels I read, but don't remember any specific title. It's been years.

Steve M said...

I used to have nearly all Chase's books (mixture of Panther and Corgi editions). I sold them for space reasons and have regretted it ever since.