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Clifton Adams Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Colonel's Lady (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Six-Gun Boss (As: Clay Randall) (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Desperado (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Noose For The Desperado (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Whom Gods Destroy (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two-Gun Law (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gambling Man (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death's Sweet Song (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Law of the Trigger (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Never Say No to a Killer (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Boomer (As: Clay Randall) (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Outlaw's Son (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
When Oil Ran Red (As: Clay Randall) (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Killer in Town (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stranger in Town (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Legend of Lonnie Hall (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Moonlight War (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Oceola Kid (As: Clay Randall) (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Reckless Men (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Moonlight War (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dangerous Days of Kiowa Jones (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Doomsday Creek. (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hogan's Way (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hardcase For Hire (As: Clay Randall) (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hottest Fourth of July in the History of Hangtree County 4th (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Grabhorn Bounty (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shorty (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Partnership With Death (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tragg's Choice (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Days of Wolf Garnett (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dude Sheriff (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Badge and Harry Cole (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Biscuit-Shooter (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hassle and the Medicine Man (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Outlaw Destiny (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rogue Cowboy (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Most Dangerous Profession (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hard Time Bunch (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lawman's Badge (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hard Times For Arnie Smith (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Concannon (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Once An Outlaw Dual (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Day Of The Gun (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Amos Flagg Books

as Clay Randall

Clifton Adams was an American author of westerns with over 50 published standalone novels, 125 short stories, and a book series, Amos Flagg, which he wrote under the penname Clay Randall. He was born in Comanche, Oklahoma, in 1919 and died on 7th October 1971, due to a heart attack. He won two consecutive Spur Awards for Best Western Novel and was named Oklahoma Writer of the Year in 1965. He also published books under the pseudonyms Jonathan Gant, Clay Randall, and Matt Kinkaid.
Never Say No to a Killer, originally paired with Trimble’s “Stab in the Dark” as an Ace double novel, stands out in the dark crime genre. Unlike Adams’ other crime novels, such as “Death’s Sweet Song” and “Whom Gods Destroy,” this book offers a different perspective on its protagonist.

The main character, Roy Surratt, is portrayed not as an innocent caught in unfortunate circumstances nor as a man misled by a treacherous woman. Instead, Surratt is unapologetically a ruthless criminal from start to finish. He is a hardened, vicious individual who embraces his role in the criminal world without any hint of remorse or a backstory of innocence lost. This sharp portrayal of Surratt as an unrelenting criminal sets Never Say No to a Killer apart from typical narratives in the genre. The book dives deep into the dark and unforgiving world of crime, offering an unflinching look at its main character’s life of lawlessness.

The story is set in a fictional town (Lake City) in Oklahoma. We meet Roy Surratt making a dramatic escape from prison. He had been working on building a runway under the watchful eyes of armed guards. In a violent and solitary breakout, Surratt heads to a car waiting in a nearby town. He meets the widow of his former associate, Venci. She informs Surratt that he owes a debt: to assassinate a powerful figure who wants her dead.

Additionally, she hands him Venci’s collection of blackmail files. Surratt hatches a plan to exploit these files, targeting the corrupt politicians in the files. His scheme involves extorting $20,000 from each one.

Surratt’s interaction with the widow, Dorris, is complex and unusual. Though she is willing and available, Surratt doesn’t find her particularly attractive. He is taken aback to discover her interest in sadomasochism. This part of the story adds another layer to the dark and twisted world that Surratt navigates. It also highlights the novel’s exploration of crime, manipulation, and the darker aspects of human relationships.

The action-packed prison escape by Roy Surratt, which seems like it would dominate the story, surprisingly fades into the background. Instead, the narrative focuses on other aspects of Surratt’s life, making it more than just a tale of a fugitive on the run.
Surratt is a character of many layers. His relationship with Dorris is odd and complicated. Further complexity is added through his romance with Pat Kelso, a secretary to one of his extortion targets. Surratt impresses Pat with quotes from the Marquis de Sade and Friedrich Nietzsche, sharing his philosophy of taking whatever he wants. His seduction includes lavish gifts like a mink coat and extravagant catered dinners in his apartment.

Surprisingly, Surratt operates alone. He doesn’t have a gang, henchmen, or any close allies, except for Venci, who was killed before the story begins. This solitary approach sets him apart from typical characters in crime novels.

Through Never Say No to a Killer, Clifton Adams showcases his skill in writing action scenes. The action is intense and relentless. This is evident in both the prison breakout and later confrontations with desperate victims of Surratt’s blackmail. Overall, this is a gripping tale, exploring the depths of a lone criminal’s journey through a life of crime and manipulation.

Whom Gods Destroy is a standalone novel by Clifton Adams, first published in 1953. This book explores the theme of bootlegging and prohibition. The setting is an important one because Oklahoma remained a dry state until the mid-1950s. During this time, there were several attempts to repeal prohibition, but powerful bootleggers fought to keep the state dry to maintain their monopoly on alcohol. This historical context forms the backdrop of Whom Gods Destroy.

The novel follows Roy Foley, a former high school football star from a poor background. He experiences a deep humiliation when confessing his love to the beautiful Lola, who rejects him. This drives him to leave his hometown, Prairie City, Oklahoma. Fifteen years later, working as a fry cook in Bakersfield, he returns home for his father’s funeral. Once back, he gets involved in the rampant bootlegging scene, driven by a mix of ambition and old grudges, particularly against Lola, now married to a prominent politician.

Foley’s story is one of a descent into moral corruption, echoing Dante’s Inferno. He maneuvers through the bootlegging world, often resorting to violence and betrayal. Despite his actions, Foley sees himself as a victim of unfair circumstances. The novel fluctuates between Foley’s self-perception and how others perceive him, adding complexity to his character.

Clifton Adams writing is clear and engaging, making this story easy to follow. The novel explores various angles, including the mysterious femme fatale. The question arises: who is the true femme fatale, Lola or Vida? Additionally, it delves into the journey of Roy Foley, the protagonist, in the crime world. Foley’s character is complex and multifaceted. At times, he seems like a tough figure in the underworld; other times, he appears as a man unable to cope with rejection and humiliation.

Overall, Clifton Adams has skillfully woven a novel that keeps the reader guessing about Foley’s true nature. There’s a contrast between how Foley perceives himself and how others see him. This dichotomy adds a layer of depth to the narrative, showcasing Adams’ talent for creating intricate and thought-provoking stories. While the novel juggles multiple themes, it’s this very complexity that makes Adams’ writing captivating and unique from the first page to the last. If you enjoy reading crime novels where the main character works alone in the crime world, then Clifton Adam’s books are highly recommended.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Clifton Adams

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