नेवर गो बैक | लेखक: ली चाइल्ड | शृंखला: जैक रीचर | अनुवादक: विकास नैनवाल

Carnal Pyscho by Duane Rimel

Rating: 3.5/5
Read Between 20th August,2018 and 24th August 2018

Edition Details:
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Wild Side Press
Anthology:The noir novel Megapack: Four Great Crime Novels
First Publication: 1961

First Sentence:
The telephone rang, and a familiar chill of apprehension, of accumulated hatred, flared inside me.

Mark Jason had never liked city life. But now he was forced to live there. His life had become miserable after an accident. He was injured and forced to be on wheelchair. The doctor had advised him rest and peace of mind. But there was some one who was making sure Mark doesn't get any peace.

He was being staked by a hater. A hater who wanted to make Mark pay for his sins. Mark has reason to believe that this very hater could be behind the accident which had left Mark temporarily crippled.

The hater was audacious enough to call Mark. He mocked him, threatened him and kept calling him till Mark was afraid of the phone ringing.

When Marks friends start getting threatened by this caller, Mark knows he has to do something. He has to find out the mystery caller and bring him to justice.  Other wise Mark and his friends  like others would become another number in road accident statistics. And Mark had no wish to become that.

Who was the mystery caller? Why was he tormenting Mark and his friends? Did he carry out his threat? Was Mark able to uncover the secret?

Main Characters :

Mark Jason/Percival keets - Protagonist of the story also called Snake River Savage because of the way mark lived
Henry Dee- Mark's friend
Louise Schmidt - Henry's girlfriend
Angela Stein- A youg girl who had been a victim of a traffic accident
Lewis Cable - a radio repairman who was Mark's neightbour
Mrs Teresa Snark - President of Jolly Poetry club. Henry was a member there.
Fay Simmons - A waitress and Mark's friend. She worked in Si's steak house.
Lieutenant Angus Riley- The police officer that was investigating the hit and run
Wilson - A police officer
Ben Cook - Retired Farmer, member of the Jolly Club
Cecila Swatch - Hostess for the Jolly Club meeting
Chester Ventley - A poet and member of the Jolly Club
Rita Snell - A member of a the Jolly Club. Was very rich and was known for hating men.
Marie Goddard - A member of the Jolly Club. Was a student at Idaho College
Dr Amos Schiller - Doctor at Layton General Hospital
Goofy Joe - A guy who lived in the Basment of the house that Mark had rented
Eli Markham- The guy who saw an accident in which Louise was involved

Carnal Psycho by Duane Rimel was the third novel in this Noir Novel Megapack. The megapack has got 4 novels in total and i have read three of them now. I must say that all three of them have been a good dose of crime and mystery for me.

Carnal Psycho is a mystery novel although it's not a murder mystery at least from the start. The murders do happen but they are often conducted as an accident and they occur late in the story.

The story is about a mysterious crank caller who is threatening the protagonist. He seems to think Mark has sinned and he needs to make Mark pay for his sins. The whole novel is about Mark trying to figure out who this guy is and why is he after him(Mark)? He tries very hard to do that and finds out the guy is always two steps ahead of him. This makes it an entertaining read. Plus, the stake in the story keeps increasing as Mark's friends are also targeted.

As a reader i was just reading to find out what Mark will do and how the caller would react. There are various suspicious characters thrown in the middle of story and one cannot stop themselves from thinking whether one of these could be the culprit. If i have to talk about myself then i couldn't figure out the culprit till the very end. So, for me it was a good mystery story. Plus, the book was written more than 50 years back and it still didn't feel that much dated.

The characters in the book fit the story. It's a pulp novel and so there are  characters have that quality in them especially the way Mark has been portrayed.

Mark Jason is an hard ass. He takes no bullshit from anyone and is depicted as the alpha male that everyone aspires to be. He's confident, moody and  more often than not can appear as an ass-hole.

But he's sensitive too. There is a part of him that he keeps hidden. He still thinks about the women that he had accidently murdered.

The nightmares began even befor i was released from the hospital. A pinched white face rushing out of the gloom,horror in the eyes... while i kept fighting and clawing the wheel, trying to miss her...

He knows he's an asshole but then there are parts of him that surprise him too. He has no up tightness which is usually present in city people and that makes him kind of more human inspite of his rough exterior.

I listened to the peck-peck of his thread across the ramp, and then it faded away down the stair.I had a small lump in my throat. Jason, I said, maybe you are human after all.

Women tend to fall for him. There are four women in this novel that fall for his charms and he has no qualms about sleeping with three of them. This one felt like a wish fulfilment to me or it could have been a trope that was being used in crime pulp of that time. Or may be there are guys like Mark and i'm just being jealous of him. Ha ha.

There were times when i felt like maybe this is not Duane's first novel with Mark as a lead. He sometimes refers to himself as an amateur detective which made me think that Duane would have used him in another novel too. I wanted to know about Mark and the detection work that he had done. It may have been given in that previous novel. I may be wrong in it but that's what i felt while reading it.

This is pure pulp and is written like that. Pulp  novels are not remembered for the writer's wordmanship. Their main focus is on the story which can hook readers instead of writing good sentences that would show case their craft as a writer. Most of this book is like that. It hooks you in and story is what you focus on. But in spite of that there are some good lines in the book which are worth remembering.

Some quotes from the book:

Some things you can get used to,even unpleasant things- as long as they are known. It is the unknown that frightens and rasps your nerves, twisting emotions until you are ready to boil over.

I could have said a lot of things, but i saved them. Like you grow up just so fast, and when you're young you get hurt. It takes time to grow a thick hide.

These oddballs looked harmless enough- but then many infamous killers down through history had looked angelic, as did many young widows who managed to let their elderly and heavily insured husbands slip down a stair or fall off a cliff. Murder could be so subtle.

Nobody should criticise another man's hobby, unless it might involve his woman or his money

Home to me meant peace, security- an escape from the deadening monotony of city living, getting away from the sidewalks and neons, troubles and tensions. But now the malignancy that had festered in the city was riding along with me.

The honest toll of rowing, the clean air and the river worked better inside me than a bottle of vitamin tablets. I'd been away too long...

If you're going to live a little, you are going to get hurt. Life is short and bitter and evil enough- so why not take a chance?

All in all Carnal Psycho was a good mystery read for me. It kept me guessing till the end and kept me hooked to the story. Book was thrilling as something or other kept happening throughout the story. There was never a dull moment in the book. If you are into pulp or mystery then i think you'd enjoy it too.  I enjoyed reading it and would definitely check out other works of the writer(I have come to know that Duane W Rimel was know more for his sci-fi and weird fiction than his mystery novels. I'll have to check those out too.).

If you have read the book then do tell me what did you thought of it? If you have read other works of Duane W Rimel then do recommend me some of his works.

I got to read this book in a crime novel anthology. You can get that anthology here:

Other  books in the Anthology that i have read:
Hunter At large
Never Bet Your life

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