A Goodis-like noir full of lust, desperation, and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. For Orrie Hitt’s characters, there is no way out of the slums he so deftly portrays in THE CHEATERS, only a less painful way to make ends.
Cheating is commonplace, an accepted pastime in The Dell, one that has kept young woman off the streets and in beds on their backs, and hapless men without coin to feed their families for favouring sins of the flesh. Clint, a bartender who also runs a small prostitution business on the side takes full advantage of this, much to the dislike of his pregnant girlfriend.
Wanting to live as straight and narrow as able given his occupation, Clint easily succumbs to the curves and pretty face of his bosses wife, before long he’s paying off cops, contemplating murder, and leaving his girlfriend.
THE CHEATERS is a highly addictive novel that emphasises all that is noir through a whisky stained glass. It’s brimming with bad people in a bad place with little or no redeeming qualities. Much like Goodis, Orrie Hitt is fast becoming one of my favourite noir/pulp authors.
This review is from THE CHEATERS as appears in the Starkhouse double feature THE CHEATERS/DIAL M FOR MAN: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14741760-the-cheaters-dial-m-for-man
See my 5 star review of UNFAITHFUL WIVES here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/338390037