Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Girl on a Slay Ride

Louis Trimble (1917-1988) was a Seattle author that specialized in science-fiction, western, mystery, and espionage genres. He wrote under multiple pseudonyms and has been reprinted numerous times. In 2012, Prologue Books reprinted his crime-noir novel Girl on a Slay Ride, originally published by Avon in 1960. 

Cliff Mallory is employed as a salesman, but is described by another character as a high-class messenger. The term fits considering Mallory has a briefcase containing $40,000 in securities that he needs to deliver to his boss in Port Angeles, Washington. After the drop, Mallory is headed into the state's Olympic Mountains to enjoy his favorite pastime, camping and fishing. But, his plans take a detour when his ex-wife Denise calls asking for a favor.

After picking Denise up at the Portland airport, she advises Mallory that she's on the run from her husband and his Syndicate cronies. Her husband fears that she knows a little too much about his business dealings and wants to snuff her out. Denise called the only person she ever truly loved for help. Mallory and Denise head to the coast highway and follow it through the fog and dense forest to a small-town motel. After sensually making up for lost years, Mallory sees two men in the parking lot that he knows must be on to them. 

Back on the rural highway, Mallory and Denise are intercepted by a man calling himself Graef and two other guys. But, Mallory can't figure out if they are after Denise or trying to rob him of the $40K. The three thugs escort Mallory into a coffee shop where a newspaper shows Graef's photo and the ominous headlines that he is a rapist and kidnapper that has escaped from jail after killing a deputy. Quickly, Trimble's crime-noir escalates into a psychotic suspense thriller as Mallory and Denise try to escape this horrible scenario.

In some ways, I think Trimble combined a rugged, outdoor modern western with a crime-noir to create this very unique novel. It features a long chase through the pines and snow, with tracking, guns, and a survival element built in. But, the author isn't content with just that. Instead, he injects this frantic sense of suspense and mystery because everything isn't what it appears to be. I was thrown off by the story's twist and had to re-read certain chapters just to be sure I was clear on who's betraying whom. I applaud the originality and presentation, but there's a lot going on that requires some serious page dedication. 

Girl on a Slay Ride was a terrific, fast-paced narrative with plenty of action and intrigue. Trimble reads like John D. MacDonald here and I can't help but think he was slightly influenced by JDM's violent novel The Executioners (aka Cape Fear, 1957). It has the same intensity with one unforgettable character that is a repulsive, psychotic savage that preys on young girls. The original paperback's cover (Victor Kalion) conveys the emotional terror. What you see is exactly what you get. 

Recommended! Buy the ebook HERE.


  1. Sounds very good, particularly since I live in that part of the world. Outdoor adventure + crime noir is a great combination. I will track this one down, thanks.

  2. Great review, very descriptive. I can tell I won't disappointed reading it. I've only read a couple of his 60s westerns, couple years ago, though I began buying his SF in 1972 and eventually anything else I found by him, but so far that's only been westerns. I read three in 2019. Gunsmoke Justice (1950-06-12 Macrae Smith) & 1951.05 Bantam 892, & 2008.09 BBC Audiobooks, which is what I read. Local St Vinnie's got a slew of them, small hardcovers with illustrated covers. Also read The Hostile Peaks (1969.04 Ace 441-71372-060) and Trouble Valley (1970-02-06 Ace 441-11785-060). If I looked at a synopsis I might recall these stories, but I guess I should have wrote something down.
    He generally wrote as Louis Trimble, but used the pseudonym "Stuart Brock" for some of his work.
    *FMI has 1 story: Not Dead Enough (na) Popular Detective March 1952. *Wiki has 1 novel: Whispering Canyon (1961) (as Stuart Brock) 1961 might refer to Ace D-573, actually published 1963. The Wiki bib is bogus. The heck with that! *fantasticfiction has the 1 from wiki plus 3: Death Is My Lover (1948) (as by Stuart Brock), Just Around the Coroner (1948, 1949 Dell 337) (as by Stuart Brock), and Action at Boundary Peak (1955-00 Avalon) (as by Stuart Brock)
    Whispering Canyon (1955) (as by Stuart Brock) FF actually gets this one right: I haven't done a complete bibliography using CCE yet. But let's check this one: Catalog of Copyright Entries. Third Series: 1955: July-December 1955-07 PAGE 969 TRIMBLE, LOUIS. Whispering Canyon, by Stuart Brock, pseud, of Louis Trimble. Avalon Books. © Louis Trimble (Stuart Brock); 26Apr55; A200676. If Louis Trimble wrote under any names besides Stuart Brock, I have yet to discover them. He wrote plenty as Louis Trimble.
    The original paperback's cover (Victor Kalion) I think you mean Victor Kalin? I use this site for any author or artist they have since it has a high verification rate and it's dead easy to load. Author: Victor Kalin Author Record #27243 Birthplace: Belleville, Kansas, USA Birthdate: 19 January 1919 Deathdate: 24 November 1991 Language: English Webpages: