Bezzerides, A.I. Thieves' Market
New York Charles Scribner's Sons 1949 1st Edition (A) Hardcover Good
(no dust jacket) [solid but worn copy; binding intact, wear evident to cloth at all edges and corners; a decent reading copy, no more]. Classic hard-boiled/proletarian novel, about an immigrant trucker (of Greek heritage, as is the author) who, while trying to make a living hauling produce in California's Central Valley, has a tought time maintaining his independence and integrity while dealing with the underworld types who control the West Coast produce markets. The author drew on his own experiences for the book, and took it to the next artistic level as well, doing the screenplay for the pretty damn good movie version, directed by Jules Dassin -- whose political sympathies, well-tuned to the needs of this particular narrative, got him blacklisted not long after. The movie (retitled THIEVES' HIGHWAY) starred Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, and Lee J. Cobb, at his snarling best as a vicious and crooked produce kingpin.