Fast One - Gutter Books


21st-Century Pulp Publishing

Fast One

By Paul Cain

The Most Hard-boiled Novel of the 1930s

It’s the last days of Prohibition and the first days of the Depression and East Coast crime bosses are vying for control of Los Angeles. Caught in the middle of the intrigues is Gerry Kells, a former New York enforcer now living a life of ease on the West Coast.

As the fiercely independent Kells rejects the appeals of various crime bosses who want to make use of his talents, powerful forces align against him. Being framed for a murder turns out to be the least of his troubles and as the stakes get higher, and the odds get longer, it’s only Kells’ nerve and toughness that keep him one step ahead of the law—and the reaper. Featuring one of the most brutal finales in crime fiction history, this lost 1933 masterpiece took hard-boiled writing as far is it safely could. Some say too far.

Praise for Fast One

“In the matter of grim hardness Dashiell [Hammett] paused on the threshold. Paul [Cain] went all the way.”

—Captain Joe Shaw, editor of Black Mask during its golden era

“[Fast One represents] some kind of high point in the ultra hard-boiled manner.”

—Raymond Chandler

About the Author: Paul Cain was also known as the screenwriter Peter Ruric but was born in Iowa as George Carol Sims. Why he obsessively hid his true identity is not known.