Sunday, August 23, 2015

Thrift Shop Book Covers: "In the Hour Before Midnight"

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.]


Bill Crider said...

This is another one I like a lot. I have the Lancer with the alternate title that you mentioned.

Ben Boulden said...

Me too. This is one of Patterson's prime time novels. I wish he was still writing these type novels, and publishers were still publishing them.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Ben, I remember liking this Higgins novel too. A few years ago, I bought a used paperback of "The Eagle Has Landed" with vintage-style cover, but I knowingly gave it to a friend who enjoyed it as much as I did. He wasn't the only one I introduced Jack Higgins to.

Unknown said...

Cover by Harry Schaare.

Ben Boulden said...

Prashant, It's probably been 15 or so years since I read IHBM, but I have very fond memories of it. It is also in pile of books to be read, and I'm hoping I get to it next month.

Ben Boulden said...

Unknown, Thank you! I updated the post to show the artist's name.