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Lionel White - book author

Lionel White was a crime reporter who wrote around 38 suspenseful thrillers beginning with The Snatchers in 1953 and ending with The Walled Yard in 1978.

Most of his books were translated into a number of different languages and his earlier novels were published as Gold Medal pulp hard-boiled crime fiction, but when Duttons began a line of mystery and suspense books, he also wrote for them.

He was most well known for what a New York Times review described as "the master of the big caper."

A number of his books were made into movies and Stanley Kubrick liked his book 'Clean Break' (1955) so much that he licensed the rights for his film "The Killing" in 1956.

In Quentin Tarantino's film "Reservoir Dogs", Lionel White is listed as an inspiration for the film in the credits.

Gerry Wolstenholme
May 2011

Lionel White is the author of books: The Killing, The Big Caper, The House Next Door, Obsession, Hostage for a Hood, Rapina A Mano Armata, The Snatchers / Clean Break, Death Takes the Bus, Flight Into Terror, The Money Trap

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Author Books

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Title
Description
01
Johnny Clay, an ex-con determined to strike it rich, has worked out a fool-proof scheme to knock off a racetrack payroll.

The two million bucks should be enough to last him a lifetime or two. But a two-faced dame has another idea: Let Johnny do the work, then she'll grab the swag for herself and her boyfriend.
02
White is one of the lesser-known noirists whose books were filmed by Kubrick and Godard ('Pierrot le Fou' was 'based on' 'Obsession') and were an influence on Tarantino.

Despite the title, this is more of a character study, with a chilling portrayal of a cold-hearted manipulator called Flood and the men and women, good and bad, who follow his orders, however reluctantly.

The attitudes to women are very much of its time (mid-fifties), i.e. three categories: good, bad, and married. There's humour, and violence, and a general sense of unease.

Memorable pulp noir, a forgotten classic.
03
NEXT DOOR TO DEATH

Len Nielsen stumbled tipsily into the wrong house among the look-alike homes of Fairlawn Acres one night, fell into bed in the dark - and woke up beside a stranger's corpse!

Police jeered when he couldn't find the house by daylight. But when a babysitter was brutally slain outside Len's own door, he was jailed and only his wife was left to search the panic-stricken suburb for the real murderer in this harrowing thriller.
04
Noir fiction, this is the mass market paperback that Jean Luc Godard's French new wave film "Pierrot Le Fou" (Pete the Madman) is loosely based on. It is rare, out of print and difficult to find.
05
Every minute she had was borrowed, and every second ticked off the time for murder.

Joyce was driving along the deserted avenue.

Just ahead on a side street, Cribbins checked the second hand of his watch for the last time.

He swung the heavy Cadillac around the corner. He had a rendezvous with an armored car and a quarter of a million dollars; he had a tommy gun to make sure it all went off smoothly.

Everything was timed, everything was planned down to the most insignificant detail — except for Joyce Sherwood and her eight-year-old Chevy, which crashed deep into the side, of Cribbins' stolen car.

That's how they met—the housewife and the hoods. And terror took over!
08
A tale of men whose trade is violence, whose tools are guns, whose wage is death.

The plan was well made.

The bus carrying Hardin to the death house was commandeered precisely on schedule. Hardin, free of handcuffs, backed by his number-one thug, forced the bus out into the desert toward the rendezvous with the black sedan. And then the plan exploded.

The sand storm rose - one of the worst in Southern California's history - and the bus mired down hopelessly. Hardin's gunman raped a girl. The bus driver was shot to death.

And - most dangerous of all - courage flamed in the shocked passengers. Weaponless, silent, but as one, they struck back against the men of violence - and paid them off in their own brutal coin!

Lionel White's classic novel of suspense is now available as an eBook.
09
White's tale of a regular guy who one day happens along a briefcase with 100 grand inside. But then our hero's wife is found dead, the Cuban revolutionary who'd been counting on the dough to score weapons wants her cash back, and things get ugly quick.