Sunday, September 10, 2017

Wait Your Turn by Jason Hytes

Midwood paperbacks sold for 35 cents or 50 cents for some of the “Specials.” Depending on where you were in the country in 1962, you might have found Wait Your Turn on a wire spinner rack in certain types of stores. Spinner racks were everywhere, and occasionally some Beacon or Midwood books would find themselves making the squeaky turn on the rack as greedy hands pawed at the latest titles. Spinner racks of paperbacks and comics were in so many places in addition to bookstores; pharmacies, delicatessens, tobacco shops, liquor stores, even shoe stores or a haberdashery (I know you all remember haberdasheries). Those spinner racks helped clean the surplus coins from your pocket. In the age of plastic “debit card” money, such concepts must seem alien. Jason Hytes, about whom I know nothing, wrote quite a few sexy titles for Midwood. Frankly, Wait Your Turn is saucier than most Harlequin romance novels published today. The first chapter alone is sexier than a Kim Kardashian selfie. This is hot stuff but not pornographic. The vivacious Connie Vincent eagerly awaits her husband Eddie’s release from prison. She hasn’t been with a man since Eddie went away, and Connie is a woman with strong sexual needs. With instructions to wait for Eddie at the White Sands hotel, she meets Ralph Jamison, the hotel owner, who promptly seduces her with some wine. Connie enjoys the immediate tryst although she soon regrets it. Eddie catches her with Jamison later and vows revenge. Suddenly, Connie is Jamison’s mistress while Eddie is out there somewhere plotting his revenge. Connie begins to wonder if she isn’t a nymphomaniac. Up next is Larry McDonald, a hotel guest who can’t keep his eyes off her desirable figure. Meanwhile, Connie is following Jamison’s orders and keeping company with various hotel guests whose hands are often gliding admiringly along the firm roundness of her buttocks and other delectable parts. Connie is both disgusted and excited by her own actions. This panting action goes on for some time but in chapter eleven a sudden outburst of violence changes everything. The remainder of the novel is a gritty contrast to the melodramatic sex of the early chapters. Eddie is back, sadistic and crazy, and the conclusion is rushed but at least offers Connie a break, as you would expect. Author Hytes demonstrates a grasp for crime writing and action. It made me wonder what his other books are like so I may track some down. Wait Your Turn is a generally solid novel, sometimes erotic, and occasionally suspenseful. I consider it one of the better titles I’ve read from Midwood. 

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