Friday, February 25, 2011

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: BLOOD ON FRISCO BAY!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: BLOOD ON FRISCO BAY!

JAY FLYNN

I'm not sure why this book has been in the back of my mind for a few weeks, perhaps because of my earlier  post on Blood On Biscayne Bay (one of my favorite titles), clearly as ripped off for this book as so much else . . .

In the category of books so bad they’re good, Blood On Frisco Bay would have a chance at making the top ten. This 1976 Dirty Harry rip-off was an end of career offering from the typewriter and alcohol soaked mind of author Jay Flynn.

Blood was published by Leisure Books, whose titles – along with those from Belmont-Towers – would heavily populate the top ten of the aforementioned list. Still, there was something alluring about the titles produced by these publishers and there was always a few gems amongst the dross. Blood On Frisco Bay is not one of them – not by a long shot.

Flynn’s career as a fiction writer did have some high points including five titles featuring San Francisco bar owner and secret agent, McHugh. Flynn also wrote a couple of solid caper novels – Terror Tournament and Action Man, both of which are worth reading.

However, Flynn had more than a few missteps and by the time he got around to pounding out Blood On Frisco Bay and it’s precursor, Trouble Is My Business – another title rip-off, this time from Chandler – he was having trouble putting one word in front of another, producing books so bad they could be used as examples of how not to get published.

Blood On Frisco Bay gives us the dubious character of SFPD Sgt. Joe Riggs. Along with his ‘partner,’ an Irish wolfhound named Croc, a foot-long Bowie knife, and a Walther sidearm, Riggs patrols San Francisco in a station wagon, dealing out justice as only he sees fit. He doesn’t seem to have any leash on him at all, never answering for his tactics in any form of reality. There is an abundance of foul-mouthed posturing, salacious violence, and a complete lack of plot as Riggs searches for the killer of a San Francisco socialite.

I’ve kept the book for the pulpish cover art and because Blood On Frisco Bay can make anyone feel better about their own literary efforts.

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