Monday, April 17, 2023

Brother and Sister

Do you remember the Don Pendleton series The Executioner? Of course you do, don't be ridiculous. Even a perfect stranger completely alienated from men's action-adventure literature will know who Mack Bolan is. Probably. Anyhow, in the debut of that series, War Against the Mafia, Mack Bolan is in the U.S. military and serving in Vietnam. He receives a letter from home advising him that his parents are dead. So, he comes home and starts banging on mobsters. 

But, if there was a PornHub take on War Against the Mafia, say 17 years before Mack Bolan and 30 years before the internet, it could have a U.S. military serviceman receiving a letter from home telling him that his parents are dead. So, he goes home and starts banging his sister. That's the introduction of Brother and Sister, a Monarch paperback original from 1961 authored by Edwin West, who is none other than the famous Donald Westlake who uses the name Richard Stark to pen the Parker series, the best heist books of all-time. 

Seventeen year old Angie's child-body has developed into voluptuous womanhood. So, she's consistently fighting off the sex-starved Bob by the dim light of the dashboard radio every Friday night. But, she's finally had enough lip-puckering and wants to totally take a low blow. So, she informs heavy-handed Bob that her parents are gone and if he can slip in and out really fast, they can successfully liberate her body from its virgin prison. But, when Bob pulls into Angie's driveway, all of the house lights are on and an old aunt is in the doorway. Angie learns that her parents have both died in a horrible car wreck. Bob's receipt of the news is equally devastating, but in a different way. 

Paul is twenty-one and an Airman Second Class in the United States Air Force. After bedding down a young woman in Germany, he marries her and they both live happily ever after for four consecutive months. But, one day Paul arrives home early and finds his wife serving as a blow-up doll for a another hump-happy Airman (see what I did there?). Paul divorces his slut of a wife, and after a few months receives the devastating news that his parents have died in a car wreck. The only thing he can think of is his little sister Angie. He has to come home quick.

After the funeral, Paul and Angie decide to just live together in their childhood suburban home. When Bob comes over to provide Angie physical therapy to mourn, Paul punches his lights out and sends him packing. After a few days, Paul begins to think of Angie in a different way. Angie begins to substitute Paul for Bob in her own mind. Before you know it, Paul and Angie are doing the nasty and pretending like they are married. It's a lot of incest. I mean a lot.

Thankfully, Westlake throws in a bit of crime-fiction when Paul and Angie's devious uncle appears to claim the house as his through a series of neglected loan payments. Apparently holing up in your dead parents' house committing acts of incest does come with a price. There's a mortgage payment and bills to screw with too. Ultimately, the book's second-half is like a countdown to madness as Paul and Angie begin to question their own sanity. The book's closing pages will be stuck in my mind forever. It was such a wild, crazy romp to the finish with a climax that borders on dark psychological horror. 

Despite how you feel about incest (hopefully we aren't bipartisan on this), Brother and Sister was a thrill to read. Westlake is a masterful storyteller, and even when he wasn't writing crime-fiction, he could stir the emotional suspense. If you love Westlake, this is an easy recommendation. But, if you just want a wild and crazy leap into a PG-13 level sexcapade (nothing graphic here), Brother and Sister is the way to do it.

Buy a copy of this book HERE

No comments:

Post a Comment