Youthful actresses were thin-faced and gave him the impression that their underwear was dirty. Shaggy-haired actors were badly mannered and mumbled and sported shrunken Levis designed to display their limited talents. Jo said they were “method actors” but Koslo classified them as glorified delinquents and misfits. Womenish men, mannish women…he couldn’t help but marvel at the miracle that Jo could have known these people and still remain untouched by their neurotic outlooks.
|Monarch Books July 1960|
Published in 1960 by Monarch Books, She’ll Get Hers is a tawdry little paperback that flies under the wings of some of the better known paperback originals by Gil Brewer and Day Keene and the gang. I’ve read a few Monarch paperbacks and have enjoyed them much like you’d enjoy a burrito from a dirty restaurant. You know they’re bad for you, but you like ‘em anyway. Monarch was kind of a low-rung publisher of pulpy paperback originals, and I’m guessing they went for the sleazier side of stuff than Gold Medal. Judging from the titles in their catalog, lots of juvenile delinquent, beatnik, and sleazy kicks can be enjoyed in these old paperbacks.
She’ll Get Hers is written by John Plunkett. According to the blurbs, Plunkett was heavily involved in the entertainment scene at the time, and sold screenplays for both the television and film industry. I don’t know if She’ll Get Hers was his only novel. It’s the only one I’m finding after a cursory look online. Regardless, it’s an often-told story of a bad guy getting his come-uppance by a bad girl. In this instance, a hood named Marty Koslo, and his new flame, Jo Wilder.
Koslo is an east coast enforcer for the Syndicate and is sent to Los Angeles to get to get to the bottom of why receipts from marijuana sales have dropped in recent months. Los Angeles is familiar turf for Marty Koslo. He’s got a swanky apartment above Sunset Blvd and a hot sexy girlfriend named Lorry Logan. He sets up a meeting with the district supervisors of the organization and reads them the riot act. Their biggest market is in the high schools and colleges throughout the Hollywood area. Koslo lays the tough guy routine down on the supervisors and promises he’ll be following up with the local pushers next. This has the whole L.A. crew in an uproar.
Marty Koslo was not just a successful hood. Marty Koslo was the syndicate’s number one hatchet man. The executioner. The enforcer. Big K, they called him. Not K for Koslo, but rather for Kill.
Later that night, back in his Hollywood office at the Chilton Hotel, Marty Koslo is kicking back with a drink and thinking of his date with Lorry when he’s approached by the bellman, a former jockey named Willie, who puts him wise to a raw deal fixing to happen to one of the regular girls who do freelance “modeling” work in the hotel. Some local Hollywood type named George has paid Willie to supply him with “knockout drops” so that he can score with one of the models who is there posing for “art” pictures. Willie tells Koslo that this particular girl don’t rate such a slimy treatment, that she’s special, that she ain’t like the other girls. He asks Koslo to run George out of the joint on behalf of his unsuspecting victim. Koslo figures what the hell, Willie is a good guy and is obviously sweet on this chick, so he’ll do him this favor. He takes the vial of knockout drops from Willie and goes to George’s hotel room. In it he finds George is all hot and ready for his fun time with the model who is in the bathroom changing her wardrobe. Koslo sends “Georgie” packing. Then he decides that, as long as he’s there, he’ll check out this chick that Willie is so sweet on. And out of the bathroom walks the stunning Jo Wilder.
She stood in the doorway framed by the light of the bathroom. She was wearing a pair of tiny nylon panties, black stilted pumps, a fresh coat of red lipstick and a rather vague expression of mild surprise.
A lot of attention is focused on Jo’s magnificent breasts at this point, and Koslo is basically reduced to a stuttering schoolboy on his first major crush. He lets Jo know that he’s just saved her from a sleazebag whose promises of a career in the movies for Jo was all bullshit. Jo is appropriately grateful, and promptly lets him know that, while she may pose nude for pictures, she’s a good girl who is pure of virtue. She also gets off on Marty’s obvious admiration of her naked body. Marty Koslo asks her if she’s had dinner yet and Jo agrees to go out with him that night.
What follows is a quick courtship of sorts, as Marty Koslo convinces Jo Wilder to come back to has pad above Sunset Blvd that night. A lot of kissing and mushy stuff follows, leaving Koslo’s head spinning under Jo’s alluring spell. She lets him know several times that she’s a virgin, but would like to be his girlfriend. She promises him that she’ll make him happy. Koslo figures it won’t be long before Jo gives herself up fully to his charms. In the meantime he dumps his girlfriend Lorry so he can devote all his energy toward Jo. In a matter of a single weekend he convinces Jo to move out of her dumpy apartment and stay with him. The next afternoon, while helping her pack up her stuff, he meets Jo Wilder’s neighbor, an artist named Mona. Mona seems unusually distressed to learn that Jo is moving out. She’s been painting a portrait of Jo and tells her she’ll have to finish the portrait from memory. Jo Wilder seems oblivious to Mona’s obvious crush on her, and promises to keep in touch with Mona. Koslo doesn’t give a rip about any of that artsy-fartsy stuff, and tells Jo Wilder to never see Mona again.
On the business end of things, Koslo learns that some of the distribution managers have been cutting the marijuana supply with tobacco. The high school kids are complaining that the stuff they’re buying isn’t any good. And the sales are dropping as a result. Koslo is ordered by the bosses back east to terminate the contracts of these managers, and do it with “a lot of noise.” Koslo brings in a 2nd hitman named Tito to help with the job. Meanwhile, Jo discovers the vial of knockout drops that Koslo got from Willie. She accuses Koslo of keeping them to use on her, to take her virginity. She has a complete hissy fit and runs away. Koslo spends the night trying to find her, only to discover that she’s run back to Mona’s arms. He shows up just in time to find Mona diving between Jo’s luscious thighs as Jo is writhing in unbridled passion. No wonder Jo doesn’t give it up for him, he figures. She’s a perverted dyke! In a rage, he beats up Mona and leaves Jo cowering on the floor. Then he and Tito head out into the night to gun down some cheating dealers.
Well, you know how these things go. Koslo’s preoccupation with Jo ends up messing everything up between him and his employers. A hit goes sloppy, a teenage girl is kidnapped, Tito ends up being a perverted psycho, a dealer flips and the police get tipped off to the entire drug operation. In the end, there is nothing left for Marty Koslo to do but go into hiding. But first, he’s gotta win Jo Wilder back!
It’s all a hot mess for Marty Koslo. Jo Wilder is one of those chicks who only live in novels like this. There are a lot of eye-rolling moments for the reader as Marty trips over his dick again and again. Lessons for the rest of us tough guys to be learned for sure; the first one being don’t get involved with bad girls who tell you how good they are. Actually that’s a terrible lesson. Where’s the fun in that?