It’s amazing the variety of books you can find thrown out with the rubbish or offered up for free whilst traversing the streets and public buildings of the area in which I live. I mean, haven’t these people ever heard of charity shops? Or seen the volunteer-run community library just down the road?
Well thankfully for me, they apparently haven’t, and in the past six months alone, I’ve picked up a book of essays by Takashi Kitano, a ‘70s era karate manual, a hardback biography of Dashiel Hammett, novels by Richard Matheson and Elmore Leonard, a book purporting to explain ‘The Seventy Great Mysteries of Ancient Egypt’… and this little number, which was staring up at me from a sodden cardboard box on somebody’s doorstep when I took a stroll round the block a couple of weeks back.
Nice, subdued British sleaze kind of vibe that’s only enhanced I think by the faded colours. (Are they faded though? Perhaps they've always looked like that…)
Either way, nice example of another publisher jumping on-board with the Penguin-created connection between crime and the colour green, and, um… would it be facile to bother pointing out that ‘Ransome’ is a pretty fitting surname for the author of a book about blackmail..? “Research” suggests Stephen Ransome was a frequent pen name for prolific pulpster Fredrick C. Davis, so perhaps less than a coincidence.