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Fires That Destroy

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  39 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Bernice tried to live twice, by bringing death to one man so that she could live with another. Instead of the paradise she sought, Bernice found herself in an unholy hell, married to the devil. Lloyd’s death did not free her, did not make her happy; but now that she was with Carlos she knew who she was at last, and she accepted it. Bernice was the great-grandmother of ever ...more
Paperback, 141 pages
Published May 1st 1988 by Black Lizard Books (first published 1951)
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Pulpy Tagline: "A relentless, revealing search into the soul of a sinful woman."

Back in the 50's, the pulp paperbacks were filled with seedy noir tales of doomed men moving toward their own destruction through bad choices and usually as a result of the charms of a sexy and irresistible harpy preying on their sad weaknesses. With Fires That Destroy though, prolific pulp writer Harry Whittington turns this trope on its head. He focuses on the femme fatale herself and reverses the roles a bit, te
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: orgasmic
Seriously amazing! This has such a bitter, gut-wrenching, guilt-ridden, half crazed tone it's reminiscent of a terrible hangover, but y'know, fun. If you ever had any doubts about how good these old dime-store paperbacks could be, read this. Yeah, it's kinda trashy and a bit unhinged, but it's also fucking fabulous.
After Bernice pushes her blind boss down the stairs and gets away with his murder and the $25,000 he'd hidden in a book, you don't really think it will end well do you? So desperate to be desired the way the beautiful girls in the office are, she falls for the first pretty-boy who flatters her, and off to Florida they go to get married and spend her murder-money. But what drives this quite different noir is that Whittington narrates it from Bernice's perspective, always moving the story forward ...more
Jun 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: gigolo watchers
Shelves: pulp-fiction
A mousy secretary kills her blind boss after discovering the hidden money in his library. After a half-assed make-over she falls for a creepy teller who sounds like Spencer from "The Hills". He's described as green eyed and golden haired, as monetary a description of male beauty you'll ever read.
Of course he's a piece of gigolo hustler trash and can't seal the deal between his legs with her. It only gets sicker and sicker!
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
It held my interest enough to finish it, but it was far too overwrought and melodramatic, and the ending, which I guessed, was unsatisfying.
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Whittington was known as the “king of the paperbacks” and published in excess of 170 paperback novels in his lifetime. “Fires that Destroy” is a pulp crime novel, but it is not your classic action-packed crime
story. And, don’t read it expecting to be kept in suspense. There’s little
question from the first pages who is the killer or why or what the various characters will end up being. The novel is not about the action so much as the psychological motivations of the main character, Bernice Harp
James Farinelli
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A New Writer from the Past to Explore

Really enjoyed this old-fashioned novel that may have been ahead of its time. Looking forward to reading his other works. Give this one a try.....don't think you'll be disappointed.
Apr 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: pulp-crime
Whittington know how to keep you turning pages. No fat, no filler. Bernice got away wit the perfect crime, or did she? Now she's caught in a hellish loop of obsessive love and quenched desire. She comes to a bad end but finally gets what she she's always wanted.
Devi Dahl
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This story switches direction abruptly, and the main character is a fascinating woman who transforms her persona throughout the book. Another pulp masterpiece from Harry Wittington.
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He also wrote under the names Ashley Carter, Harriet Kathryn Myers, and Blaine Stevens, Curt Colman, John Dexter, Tabor Evans, Whit Harrison, Kel Holland, Suzanne Stephens, Clay Stuart, Hondo Wells, Harry White, Hallam Whitney, Henri Whittier, J.X. Williams.

Harry Whittington (February 4, 1915–June 11, 1989) was an American mystery novelist and one of the original founders of the paperback novel. B
More about Harry Whittington