Seduction of the Innocent is the third book in the Jack and Maggie Starr mystery trilogy by Max Allan Collins. This book was published by Hard Case Crime in 2013. The series first two installments had been published in 2007 and 2008 by Berkley Prime Crime, a division of Penguin Books, but that publisher had decided against doing the third and at this time final volume. So it's real pleasure to see this final book, perhaps the best of the three. The Glen Orbik cover is a real stunner, echoing the most memorable of vintage 50's comics covers.
|Bill Gaines and Al Feldstein|
|Charles Biro (the one with the monkey)|
The chase around NYC in search of a killer is a snappy and finely paced affair. Because this story centered around a group of comics folks already close to the criminality in some instances, it seem to have a more noir atmosphere than the previous volumes, or maybe the lurid details are just naturally part of this at times most pungent tale. The action is rousing in this one, both of the amorous and pugilistic variety.
As always Terry Beatty supplies some beautiful illustrations for this story, his style very reminiscent of the great Johhny Craig, is especially apt in this volume.
This was a great send off for the series. It seems to me there are a goodly number of stories which could be yet told from the shadowy world of comics, but Collins said that this volume concluded his plans for Jack and Maggie.
If you can find them, I highly recommend these three books. They are filled with wonderful ambience and details from 1950's New York City. Any comics fan will find them fascinating and any mystery fan will find them fulfilling.