A.I. Bezzerides. Thieves’ Market (1949) 233 pp.
Dust jacket: “Nick Garcos shouldn’t ever have started hauling for himself; he was too young and too inexperienced, and independent trucking is tough even for the old-timers. But Nick was sick of making only thirty-six dollars a week at the packing house in Fresno, and he wanted to be his own boss. With the four thousand dollars insurance his Pop had left, Nick bought an old truck, planning to get crops cheap from outlying farmers and then make a killing on them in the Frisco produce market. But trucking produce is a cut-throat business. Nick’s education started with Ed Kennedy, who offered to be his partner, and who would cheerfully have cheated him out of his last penny, given the chance. It continued with Tex Wexley, a prostitute (the best in town, all the boys said), who was willing to sell him out for fifty bucks, and it really was not complete until Nick learned that everybody had just one goal—money. And they weren’t squeamish about how they got it.” Filmed in 1949 as Thieves’ Highway by Jules Dassin, with a screenplay by Bezzerides.
Baird & Greenwood 247