he third in Syndicate Books
' reissues of Ted Lewis' three novels about Jack Carter is a bit like Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister
: a lesser work marked in places by what I suspect are the author's complaints, in Chandler's case about his (presumed) disillusionment with Los Angeles, in Lewis' about art school.
Jack Carter and the Mafia Pigeon
(1977), the second of two prequels to Get Carter
(original title Jack's Return Home
), is less a fleshed-out novel than a set-up that never quite comes together: Carter is dispatched by his feckless bosses to their Spanish villa for a vacation that turns out to be a job minding a Mafia turncoat. And that's about it, except for an orgy of violence at the end and some bits of comedy and cruelty on the way.
But some of the the bits are delicious, the funniest probably the arrival of the janitor/butler's daughter, the grimmest the treatment of the janitor/butler by everybody, his daughter included. Read this book by all means, but after you've read Get Carter
and Jack Carter's Law
Here's Brian Greene on Lewis and why you should read him
. And here is a slew of Lewis posts from Nick Triplow
, who wrote an afterword for Jack Carter and the Mafia Pigeon
© Peter Rozovsky 2014
Labels: Brian Greene, Nick Triplow, Raymond Chandler, Syndicate Books, Ted Lewis