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Kill Now, Pay Later (Ben Gates #3)

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  151 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
When Ben Gates took the job guarding the presents at a ritzy upper-class wedding, he thought it would be a simple assignment: stand around, look tough, and make sure none of the bridesmaids walk off with the jewelry.

But that was before someone slipped sleeping pills into Ben’s coffee and a bizarre robbery attempt left two people dead. Now Ben’s reputation is on the line –
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ebook, 224 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Hard Case Crime (first published 1960)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 352)
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Kemper
Private detective Ben Gates is in the middle of an easy gig guarding the wedding presents in the home of some very wealthy people after the ceremony. His biggest problem should be keeping drunken bridesmaids from getting sticky fingered, but someone doses his coffee so it‘s sleepy time for Ben. When he wakes up, two people are dead and everyone assumes he’d passed out after drinking on the job. With his reputation in ruins, Ben knows he’ll have to solve the case to save his business.

I’ve had a l
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Dan Schwent
Detective Ben Gates was charged with guarding wedding presents at a high society wedding. When someone drugs him and a robbery ends with two deaths, Ben goes to work clearing his name and searching for the truth, a quest that will lead him through a web of lies, blackmail, sex, and murder...

Terrall delivers the goods in this Hard Case tale. While it's a little heavy on dialogue and light on action, it's still a good read. I had no idea of the depth of the plot until about halfway through, just l
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John
Ben Gates, the main character of this book, really sells it for me. Watching the mystery unravel wasn't nearly as satisfying as just following Gates around from chapter to chapter and wondering how much longer he can avoid getting his ass kicked (or shot).
Gates is the ideal character for this type of novel: sarcastic, disrespectful to authority, down-on-his-luck, generally disliked, politically incorrect, addicted to alcohol and cigars, incredibly persistent, and damn good at his very thankless
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David
Nov 27, 2008 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noirboiled
Private eye Ben Gates must restore his good name after he botches the simple job of guarding gifts at a wedding. As pleasant and lightweight as a tale of murder and blackmail can be. If you like your crime dark, skip it.

Footnote: I must gripe about this hideous cover. Robert McGinnis did the painting for the original 1960 paperback, featuring a deformed blonde who looked to be about nine feet tall with six feet of legs. For this reprint, Robert McGinnis was again hired for the job, and this time
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Gregory
This was my first Hard Case Crime Novel and it was highly entertaining. P.I. Ben Gates was a lot of fun to follow with his quiet but smart and tough approach. There were some light moments to mix with the tough moments and even the scenes with physical force or intimidation were handled with touches of humor. This is a very well written and entertaining crime novel.
Tom Vater
Kill Now, Pay Later, by Robert Terrall, another release from those hard working Hardboiled folks at Hard Case Crime, is a mixed affair that did not quite manage to touch me. In the vein of Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald, this little gem strives to be Hardboiled but comes off a little soft boiled.

Detective Ben Gates is invited to a hi-so wedding to make sure the valuable presents aren't stolen. Unfortunately he drinks coffee laced with sleeping tablets and by the time he wakes up, the deed i
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Chris
Sep 08, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book might have been a bit more mysterious if the detective was less sure of himself from the very beginning. However, I realize that this was part of a series of detective novels, and that sustaining an unreliable narrator for more than a short period of time can be quite difficult. I thought there could have been more play with him having been drugged in the beginning though, in the direction of him being sure that it happened, but that's just me. Otherwise the story is pretty fun and ent ...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
I'm a huge fan of the Hard Case crime circulation, but there was something about this one I couldn't get into. The character of Ben was alright - a good detective with some witty lines and an intriguing brain - but it just seemed flat to me. It was almost like a series that I hopped in the middle of, where not enough explanation of the personality was given for me to care about the main man.

Actually, I didn't cozy up to many of them. It's hard to put my finger on, but each lacked warmth, or humo
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Tarsha Woods
Jan 24, 2015 Tarsha Woods rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow start the suspense holds the average readers attention, keeps you wanting more and guessing on who's who and what is real or not.
Sophie
Jun 26, 2011 Sophie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-books
I love these pulp fiction classics. I love stories where the wiseguy detective may be a step or two behind but he's never at a loss. I love that every female character has something to hide and that every woman tries to get around the detective in the same way. And I love that in the 1960s era of this book, you had to be somewhat subtle about what that way was. This is a fun, satisfying read that is also a time capsule look at an era (who knew the slang term "dead presidents" was as old as 1960? ...more
Andy
Feb 22, 2008 Andy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: migraine headache lovers
Shelves: hard-case-crime
There was so much talk in this book my head still hurts from all the gabbing going on in it. Like fucking birds these c*nts just chirped and chirped and chirped and I wished they would shut up for 5 minutes so I could focus on the inane drama involved.
Some girl pretends to be drunk at some party and steals a valuable necklace or some nonsense. Who cares? Even the cover is horrible, if that woman's legs were any longer she could rent them out as stilts. I'm ready to slap someone in the face!
Fiona
Jan 07, 2012 Fiona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great 'pulp fiction' read...sucked me right in, moved fairly quickly, though was skittle slower at some places at the start. If you power through for a couple of pages it picks up pace again :)
There was so much going on I had trouble predicting who the culprit was, a real change from other mystery/crime novels. If you're into mystery novels give this one a try.

I'm addicted now, which is kind of unfortunate as I don't know that I'll fit in much more reading than my challenges this year.
Jason Seaver
Nov 06, 2009 Jason Seaver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun bit of pulp from 1960, this Ben Gates mystery may not quite be in the fair-play category - it introduces a crucial element very late in the game, although it doesn't give the sleuth anything the reader isn't privy to - but it's a very enjoyable read, with plenty of fist fights, double-crosses, and femmes fatale. It might be better with a little more familiarity with the series - it's not really a proper introduction to Ben Gates - but is still a highly entertaining read.
Nathan
Jan 17, 2012 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
PI gets involved in fraud, extortion and murder with a rich family and their hangers on. Fairly light and, I think, written with a movie-deal in mind - most scenes were clearly framed with dialogue fairly easy and the plot not overly complex. Not the best entry in the Hard Case Crime canon. Rated PG for some violence and adult themes. 2.5/5
Michael Foley
Interesting plot twists and nefarious characters.
Gerald
Jun 29, 2008 Gerald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: shamuzas and their molls
Recommended to Gerald by: Ben
What I learned from this book:

"You dumb mug, get your mitts off the marbles before I stuff that mud-pipe down your mush--and tell your moll to hand over the mazuma!

The sucker with the schnozzle poured a slug but before he could scram out two shamuses showed him the shiv...."
Ben
Mar 20, 2008 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Dad wrote this when I was a tot, now it's out again and I can force my friends to read it. Doesn't exactly offset the war in Iraq, but it makes the day a bit more bearable.
Craig
Aug 04, 2011 Craig rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Straight forward crime fiction. A decent read, not terribly complex to figure out, but a nice crisp style getting there. Some good scenes, generally well-written.
Gail Fiorini
OK but I won't be looking for any of his other books. It's a short, light mystery--the kind I carry in my purse for waiting times.
Chris
Noir, pulp fiction. It's not terrible but it's not great either. If nothing else, it's fun.
Yeva
Nov 24, 2011 Yeva rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though dated, this was a quick and unexpectedly good read. Loved the cover, too.
Carolin
Sep 29, 2011 Carolin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I didn't really warm to Ben Gates
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Matthew (M.G.) Allen
Matthew (M.G.) Allen rated it really liked it
May 25, 2016
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Under his own name and the pseudonyms "Robert Kyle" and "John Gonzalez," Robert Terrall wrote many popular and well-reviewed crime novels, including the prescient 1948 classic A Killer Is Loose Among Us, about a biological weapons lab developing weaponized anthrax for use in a terrorist attack. He is best known, however, for his comic work, including the Ben Gates series that began with Blackmail, ...more
More about Robert Terrall...

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