Synopses & Reviews
A truly classic crime novel. You Play the Black and the Red Comes Up
was originally published in 1938 under the name Richard Hallas, a nom de plume
for the Englishman Eric Knight. The critic Edmund Wilson called it "a story in the Hemmingway-Cain vernacular...a veracious account of Suthern California...a thousand and one nights on the screwy Pacific Coast."
Trailing his runaway wife, a tough young man in pursuit of more than he imagines, lets himslef be talked into a hold-up that ends in death. In his effort to escape the authorities, he gets mixed up with a mad genius of the movies, a conniving divorcée famished for fresh blood, hobos, gamblers, con artists and knee breakers. It all adds up to one of the most celebrated and famous hardboiled novels ever written.
"If you prefer sweetness and light, you'll think [this book] is just horrid." San Francisco Chronicle
"A pretty slick job." New York Herald-Tribune
"Novels like this don't come along every day. I got started on it and finished it in one gulp. It's that kind of book." Erskine Caldwell
About the Author
Eric Knight was born in Yorkshire, England. He emigrated to the United States in his teens and went to Hollywood in 1932 where he wrote novels and filmscripts. He died in 1943 at the age of forty-five, in the crash of a military transport plane in the jungle of Surinam.