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Badge of Evil

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  76 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The Universal International film based on this outstanding American suspense-thriller stars Charles Heston, Janet Leigh and Orson Welles, who plays the part of a tough veteran cop whose reputation is at stake in the solution of a brutal murder
Unknown Binding, 266 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Prologue Books (first published 1956)
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"Guns must be answered with guns, bullets with bullets."

'Badge of Evil' lives up to its name in Masterson's iconic noir. For the badge is enough to shield accusations and falsify documents to bring forth a conviction, the local law have half a job to do - convince the DA of their suspects and the suspects of their guilt. Mitch Holt, a young intelligent, good old fashioned American male, is brought into the spotlight and cast in a manner to which he's not accustomed. Following success on a recent
Good chewy pulp. This story was used as a launch point for Orson Welles's classic "Touch of Evil", one of the last of the Noir films. Personally, I'm glad they changed the name. It's less of a spoiler that way. Our hero is a virtuous man (You can practically hear his square jaw) in a crooked world where no good deed goes unpunished. He breaks the rules to preserve justice, as one is expected to do. He starts off painfully (almost unbelievably) naive, but he does recover.
It's no Hammet, or Chandl
Feb 20, 2009 Peter rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Shelves: mystery, noir
The best of the old pulp noir mystery and detective novels have an immediacy that really grabs you. They don't feel dated at all, even sixty or more years after publication. Almost all of Fredric Brown's work has that quality. So does Catcher in the Rye, although of course that's not a mystery or noir.

Touch of Evil (originally titled Badge of Evil, but renamed after the release of the Orson Welles movie that was loosely based on the book) has that timeless quality, too. It's short, particularly
Decent enough stuff that unfortunately hasn't aged very well. But still immensely cool to read it if you like Touch of Evil. Totally incredible how Wells managed to turn this unquestionably original, but somehow mediocre novel into a timeless mastepriece.

More here (review includes spoilers!):
A fast-moving, if somewhat dated, thriller. Idealistic prosecutor Mitch Holt is investigating the bomb-murder of the town's wealthiest citizen when he stumbles upon a trail of police corruption. Following that trail will endanger the lives of Mitch and his wife Connie.

Badge of Evil differs substantially from Orson Welles' famous film adaptation Touch of Evil. The novel seems bland when compared to the film (Most notably, Welles added the bordertown racial elements that make Touch crackle with te
Martin Hill
This is one of my favorite books by Whit Masterson, one of many pen names used by Robert Wade and his late writing partner, H. Billy Miller (see Wade Miller). This is one of the first crime novels to explore the abuse of power by law enforcement officials. It was the basis of Orson Wells's film noir classic "Touch of Evil."
Good plot, starts low-key and kicks into high gear half-way through. Lawyer vs. public corruption. Characters, aside from the protagonist and villian, are stock. Plot pulls you through. Highly recommended.
1950s pulp fiction. I read it because I liked the cover. Not having read much of this style, I can see why they were so popular. Intrigue! Crime! Mystery! Stereotypical yet somehow comforting character types!
Tony Maddox
A bit dated, but a good story overall. In truth, I may have actually preferred the movie "Touch of Evil" a tad more, but the book and film are so loosely related, that might not be a fair statement.
Aaron Dubin
I really enjoyed this book. Holt was an engaging main character, if a bit of a boyscout. Wasn't really a mystery so much as a thriller. Overall a fun and engrossing read.
Quite enjoyed this crime thriller! Great plot - had me wondering if I was right for the last three fourths - not something I usually get!
The basis of the Welles film Touch of Evil. A quick and good read for noir fans.
Good who-dun-it from the 1959's. Held my interest throughout.
Not bad. And it's fun to compare it to 'Touch of Evil'.
not every old detective story is worth reading
Andy Biggs
The Original title was Badge of Evil.
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Whit Masterson is a pen name of authors, Robert Allison “Bob” Wade (1920-present) and H. Bill Miller (1920-61). The two also wrote under several other pseudonyms, including Wade Miller and Will Daemer.
More about Whit Masterson...

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