Cassidy’s Girl. David Goodis. Fawcett Gold Medal Books #189, 1951. First edition.
They say that a man needs a woman to go to hell with. Cassidy had two. One was Mildred, the wife who kept him chained with ties of fear and jealousy and paralyzing sexual need. The other was Doris, a frail angel with a 100-proof halo and a bottle instead of a harp. With those two, Cassidy found that the ride to hell could be twice as fast. Cassidy’s Girl has all the traits that made its author a virtuoso of the hard-boiled: a fiercely compelling ploy; characters who self-destruct in spectacularly unpredictable ways; and an insider’s knowledge of all the routes to the bottom.