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The Red Scarf

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  53 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
From one of the masters of noir comes perhaps his most compelling novel. Roy Nichols is trying to make a go of running a motel with his wife, but forces are conspiring against them. The highway that was supposed to run past their motel may never get built, and their business is drying up. When Roy stumbles upon a briefcase loaded with cash, his problems seem to have miracu ...more
Kindle Edition, 170 pages
Published (first published 1955)
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Richard Vialet
*Pulpy Tagline!: "The money was hot and so was the girl, but it was cold-blooded murder just the same." (Crest edition)*

This fast-paced noir novel from one of the star writers in the genre follows sad-sack Roy Nichols who's hitching rides across the country begging for money for his floundering business running the Southern Comfort Motel in Florida with his doting wife. Things start looking up when he gets involved with sexy, black-haired Vivian, her brooding boyfriend, and a briefcase full of
...more
Bert
May 08, 2014 Bert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zip me up, that was intense! Roy Nichols gets himself into a right old mess in this rollicking noir tale of bad decisions, too much whiskey, short-shorts, and a briefcase full of stolen money. Gil Brewer is always good but this was slap-your-ass sensational, and apart from the dependably anti-climactic climax, it was actually fully unpredictable, fast moving, and written with heaps of style, paired-down and honed to a very pointy edge indeed.
Ed
Apr 16, 2012 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this copy from the New Pulp Press free download promotion. I've read several Gil Brewer crime noirs, and this one fits about in the middle of the pack. The usual set up has an ordinary man who's down on his luck bumping into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a windfall. Of course, it's illegal. Roy Nichols under all his bluster and fretting is a decent enough guy, and his wife Bess is the stand-by-your-man sort of young lady. Mr. Brewer does sharp dialogue, smart pacing, and a vivid set ...more
Chris
Feb 06, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roy Nichols is up to his neck in debt, hitchhiking back to the small Florida motel he and his wife are risking everything on. Roy's salvation comes in the form of a briefcase packed with cash. It's in the hands of a beautiful babe and her boyfriend, but when they suffer a horrific car crash, the girl convinces Roy to take the cash and leave her boyfriend. Things are starting to look up for Roy now, since she promises him a share of it if he can help get her out of the country. However, the money ...more
Josh
Oct 16, 2011 Josh rated it liked it
Shelves: own, kindle, read_2011
Touted as a master of the traditional noir, Gill Brewer's 'The Red Scarf' holds true to the acclaim exploring temptation and its affect on an ordinary-man thrown into chaos and violence. In wrong/right place at the right/wrong time, Roy Nichols finds himself car pooling with Vivian, and Noel - syndicate mules now on the run having stolen their latest delivery. Nichols, in a world of debt after a real estate investment gone bad sees the case full of blood money as a way to keep the hounds at bay ...more
David
Aug 16, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noirboiled
Nothing revelatory here--just Gil Brewer doing his job and doing it well. The plot of The Red Scarf follows a classic noir template: the temptation of a good, decent, ordinary guy. The novel's backstory is that its narrator, Roy Nichols, is trying to make a go of running a motel with his wife, but forces are conspiring against them. The highway that was supposed to run past their motel may never get built, and their business is drying up. Roy travels to Chicago to ask his brother for a loan to s ...more
Steve
Mar 08, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A talented pulp writer of the '50's and '60's. I read this as an ebook, and the transcription was horrible - just loads of mistakes every few pages, sometimes page after page.

Most of his novels were set in FL, St Pete in particular, where he lived. Not surprising that he was good friends with fellow pulp writer, Harry Whittington.

Some of his books are being released as ebooks, never having been reprinted since their original release.

I won't go into the plot, others have here in Goodreads, I'l
...more
Steven
Another Gil Brewer book that I couldn’t put down. At his best he has the most propulsive prose of any of the noir writers. It starts with a great setup: Roy Nichols dropped off by a trucker outside a diner in a mixed rain and snow storm:
A couple of cars roared by, fanning the road slop clear up to my knees. I didn’t even have a cigarette. I figured this was as broke and low-down as I’d ever be.

He’d gone to Chicago to borrow money from his brother so he could save his motel, got turned down, and
...more
Christopher Fulbright
Gil Brewer's novel THE RED SCARF is a tight piece of work, with plenty of tension and twists to ratchet up the suspense and keep you on the edge till the bitter end. This is some vintage noir brought to contemporary readers in eBook form by the fine folks at New Pulp Press. Let me tell you I think these folks have done me a great favor -- I downloaded this sweet little gem during a free promotion on the advice of a friend, and I'm darn glad I did.

THE RED SCARF starts with poor old Roy Nichols st
...more
Jeff
Jul 04, 2013 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ray Downton
An enjoyable noirish tale building to a tense conclusion. Good descriptive passages, but slightly tiresome lead character, though.
Max
Dec 21, 2012 Max rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gil Brewer is a noir master. The story of THE RED SCARF may seem a little cliché, but that is only because it's guys like Brewer created a template that a million writers have used over the decades since.

As I read the book, I had Fred MacMurray's narrative voice from DOUBLE INDEMNITY in my head. It was a perfect fit.

My only small complaint is the New Pulp Press ebook edition that I read had a few too many typos and text conversion errors. Brewer deserves better than that. However, I am pretty
...more
Michael
Oct 26, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite Gil Brewer book. The writing was a bit convoluted at times. Not his usual straight-forward style and not the kind of writing you expect from a pot-boiler. Started well, but got a little uninteresting towards the end. On the plus side, he does know how to describe Florida.
Victor Whitman
Jul 03, 2012 Victor Whitman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of Brewer's better ones, and some say his best one. This one is about a down-and-out motel owner, who by a chance encounter with a beautiful woman, comes to possess a big hunk of a mob money, and serious problems. Very quick and entertaining.
Robert Marsh
Dec 14, 2010 Robert Marsh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Man this guy can write. One of those guys known as a Writer's Writer. Clean. Precise. And brutal. Like a flurry of gut-punches. If you've never read anything by Gil Brewer, this is a perfect place to start.
Mikel
Dec 14, 2010 Mikel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emily bought me this as an early Christmas gift.
Gil Brewer
my wife
sigh
Joseph D'Agnese
Read. Enjoyed. Nice to find another author who led a tragic life.
Stephen
Oct 11, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What good noir is all about! Gil Brewer was a master!
Angie
Aug 06, 2012 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great solid pulp. I thought I was watching a movie.
Nev Thomas
Rather short,run of the mill noir story
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100967
Florida writer Gil Brewer (1922-1983) was the author of dozens of wonderfully sleazy sex/crime adventure novels of the 1950's and 60's, including Backwoods Teaser and Nude on Thin Ice; some of them starring private eye Lee Baron (Wild) or the brothers Sam and Tate Morgan (The Bitch) . Gil Brewer, who had not previously published any novels, began to write for Gold Medal Paperbacks in 1950-51. Brew ...more
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“The sign was done in blue lights and it kind of hung like a ghost there in the dripping trees. It swung and you could hear it creak. Just the sign, and nothing else.” 1 likes
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