In the Hour Before Night was published in the U. K. by Hodder & Stoughton, and Double Day & Company in the U. S. The edition that caught my eye was the Lancer paperback edition published in the early 1970s. It is pre-The Eagle Has Landed, and a marketing blurb at its top reads, “As Gripping as the Godfather!” I love Jack Higgins’ U. S. editions published before the The Eagle Has Landed. They seem more pure, and I, no matter how many copies I have of a particular title, always buy another when I find it. The cover art is deceivingly simple—it is a pencil drawing with surprising detail, and an orange man with a gun dead center. The artist: Harry Schaare.
The opening paragraph:
“I suppose he must have died during the night, but I only became aware of it in the heat of the day.”
Lancer also released this title as The Sicilian Heritage. The cover art is limited to the big-nosed man at the bottom of this edition with a black background. I had a copy not long ago, but it disappeared in my last move.
[This is the eighteenth in a series of posts featuring the cover art and miscellany of books I find at thrift stores and used bookshops. It is reserved for books I purchase as much for the cover art as the story or author.]