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The Hard Game

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New English Library, London, 1973
(price: 30p; 128 pages)

The blurb on the back:

Kyle Rossiter is a man without morals and the muscle men in London wanted a piece - if not all - of the action.
It wasn't really the town, his town, that Kyle was loath to let go; it was the rich, good life he had fashioned for himself - and he'd done it all by selling hard-core porn. Women he treated as dirt, to be exploited for his own ends. Who they were did not matter and he made no secret of what he wanted from them. And if he had any conscience at all, £8,000 a week made a good job of covering it up.
Here is a ruthlessly honest novel that pulls no punches on a subject that is seldom out of today's headlines.

opening lines:
Kyle Rossiter walked along the narrow street off Piccadilly, Manchester, the grey slanting rain falling into his eyes, and entered the shop with metal mesh across the window.

Crime thrillers were all the rage in the Seventies, with the likes of Get Carter, Sir, You Bastard and The Sweeney. And here’s another one.

Pretty good it is too. In common with others of its genre (see Plender), it’s set in the North, and it depicts a society effectively outside the law – there is a police force, but it’s thoroughly corrupt and even more violent than the criminal underworld with which it colludes quite happily. All this is as it should be, but Mr Hoyle has a couple of other tricks up his sleeve. There’s the whole pornography theme, which adds a little spice to the proceedings, and – even better – there’s a confrontation between gangs of skins and bikers who’ve been hired as muscle by rival porn-barons.

In short, this is an almost archetypal piece of Seventies exploitation fiction and, as such, could be published by no one but the New English Library.


from the maker of...

Blake's 7
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