For those who like a good hard-boiled noir mystery but like their crime succinct.
Chapter 1: This was where it started. I knew the dame was trouble as soon as she walked in the door.
Chapter 2: The guy was dead alright. He was an ugly sight. Death can do that to you.
Chapter 3: I smoked some cigarettes, drank some beer, talked to some people.
Chapter 4: Two goons showed up at my office and told me to lay off. We talked wise for awhile. I was wiser.
Chapter 5: I called the dame. I told her we needed to talk. She told me to come on over. I did.
Chapter 6: I drove to her apartment. She was dead. I called the cops. They weren’t happy.
Chapter 7: Bad cop said I must’ve done it. Good cop said he knew me. We talked wise for awhile. My wise was still better.
Chapter 8: I jumped in my jalopy. I talked to the guy’s friends and enemies. I didn’t get much. I met dame number two. She was sultry.
Chapter 9: I drank some beer, smoked some cigarettes. Nobody wanted to talk to me.
Chapter 10: The goons came back. We talked wise again. One took a punch. My punch was faster.
Chapter 11: I rolled up more miles on the jalopy. I managed to trace the guy’s recent actions. They didn’t seem like much.
Chapter 12: The cops called me in to talk. Bad cop still thought I did it. I told him his wife dressed him lousy.
Chapter 13: Dame number two called me and wanted to talk. I hoped she’d stay alive long enough.
Chapter 14: She was alive, all right. We talked awhile. Then we didn’t talk at all. I was smoking when I left.
Chapter 15: I sat in my office overlooking the city while I thought. I smoked some more. I was out of beer. Being a private detective is hell sometimes.
Chapter 16: The FBI came calling. They told me to lay off. I talked wise. They talked FBI.
Chapter 17: I followed up on what dame number two had told me. I remembered to buy some beer.
Chapter 18: I found a clue. It was a big one and it made me mad. Took me eighteen damn chapters.
Chapter 19: I was smoking and drinking beer when the goons busted in with guns. Their mistake.
Chapter 20: The cops took the bodies away. Bad cop didn’t like it. We stared hard at each other.
Chapter 21: The FBI dropped in. They gave me another warning. The female agent watched me. I watched her back.
Chapter 22: I looked at something I’d already looked at. This time I looked at it from a different angle. Son of a gun. I stubbed out the cigarette and jumped in the jalopy.
Chapter 23: I retraced the guy’s tracks again and found it. It was the evidence that broke the case. I drove back to dame number two’s place. It was empty.
Chapter 24: The phone rang. A nasty voice said they had dame number two. They said they’d trade the dame for the evidence. I asked to hear her voice. They made her scream.
Chapter 25: I phoned my buddy the good cop. I laid out the details for the meet. He said they’d be there. I made another call.
Chapter 26: I knew it would be a trap, so I got to the meet early. Hours early. I hid and waited. It was cold and damp before it got warm and dry.
Chapter 27: I watched them set the trap. Then I walked right into it. The cops didn’t show. The good cop was part of the whole thing.
Chapter 28: My friend the crooked cop was surprised that I knew, but said it wouldn’t really matter. They had me dead to rights. Soon I’d just be dead.
Chapter 29: They took my gun. It looked bad, but that was before the FBI sprang the trap on the trap.
Chapter 30: But the baddies hadn’t brought dame number two. Now I was short on time to find her before she joined dame number one. I was in a sweat.
Chapter 31: I was pretty sure where she’d be. I raced through the city’s maze of streets. The FBI was right behind me.
Chapter 32: It was morning rush hour. Traffic was hell. Time was running out. I was pounding the steering wheel and cursing.
Chapter 33: I found the right street. I made a screeching left turn against a red light and got t-boned. I jumped out and ran. There was a lot of cursing behind me.
Chapter 34: The police Captain was locking his front door. He didn’t know I was coming until I rammed him into it from behind. He went down with my hands on his throat.
Chapter 35: He reached for his gun but mine was out first. The Feebs arrived before I pulled the trigger. I ran into the house.
Chapter 36: The house was empty. I got the crooked Captain’s keys and opened the trunk of his car. Dame number two was there. She was alive.
Chapter 37: It took a couple of hours and a full chapter for me to explain all the details to the FBI.
Chapter 38: It was raining the day after. The doorbell rang. It was the female FBI agent. She was alone. She was carrying a saucy smile and asix pack. I already had cigarettes.