John Bright. It’s Cleaner on the Inside (1961) 256 pp.
Publisher’s description: “Peter Jameson … son of a Philistine family,
a natural rebel against convention, aggressive, hating hypocrisy as personified
by his banker father and grandfather, a preacher, he is catapulted by his
mother’s suicide into flight from home, holding only one thing precious,
the kindness he received from a coloured servant girl, Tilly Washburn.
He enters the raucous world of San Francisco as bell boy in a luxury hotel
given over to spectacular vice. From there he graduates to Morgan Hall
until, under the beneficent eye of arch-racketeer Tony Crapiola, he is
installed in the high places of the underworld. Needless to say, crime,
mistresses, narcotics and prostitution flourish for only so long. Then
tragedy, horror and disintegration, ending in an indeterminate sentence
in San Quentin prison …”