O.M. Hall. Murder City (1949) 223 pp.
Crooks and gangsters have taken over Peninsula City (“Before the war nothing but a cheap suburb of San Francisco, it had swollen with war industry and ship building to become California’s fast-growing third city.”). Gambling, dope, prostitution, graft, and murder are flourishing and the mob, under the leadership of Fats Pulaski, has infiltrated all levels of city government. Investigative reporter Jeffrey Dodge, back in town after being acquitted of the murder of his boss Martin Marienthal, an influential newspaper columnist and radio commentator, is determined to clean up the city. Dodge believes that his best friend (and colleague) Finn Grannis has gotten hold of Marienthal’s secret file that contains the details about the widespread corruption. Marienthal had been using the file to blackmail public officials for years. But Finn and the file have disappeared. With the help of Pulaski’s daughter, Marienthal’s widow, an ugly private detective, and the only honest cop in Pen City, Dodge has to find out what happened to his friend and track down the file before the mob stops him—permanently. First novel from the celebrated author Oakley Hall.