Last year, Stark House Press released the police procedural The Girl in 304 through their Black Gat imprint. It was Harold R. Daniels’ second novel after his storming debut, In His Blood. That first novel, from 1955, became a significant entry in the Dell paperback catalog and set the author up for a very successful career as a mystery writer.
His subsequent two novels, The Accused and The Snatch, first published in 1958, were Dell paperbacks. These two dark tales caused a stir when they first came out; even now, they demand attention. The phenomenally popular mystery writer John D. MacDonald said of the latter that it “belongs among the modern classics of crime and punishment.”
For the record, I could scarcely read that story without wanting to tear the book into pieces. It had nothing to do with the quality of the writing and everything to do with the provocative storytelling.
Earlier this month, Stark House Press published both novels as a twofer. The collection includes my essay, “The Solidly Considerable Talent of Harold R. Daniels,” in which I speak about the power of these two stories and the author’s relatively short but impactful writing career. There’s a lot more I can say about Daniels. His final two novels certainly ought to be reissued. But for now, I’ll hold off and simply say that these two stories are worth seizing while you still can.