Thursday, December 29

Blood Ceremony, by Peter Raft


When Kevin and Amanda McGarrett moved to the tiny Devon village of Gloum, they thought they were starting a fresh new chapter on their lives. Quickly settling in and making friends, life was good - Kevin got a good job locally and Amanda made her mark with the local ladies.

But then Amanda begins to notice that some of her friends are disappearing - and Kevin starts to work late, coming home in the early hours. And what are those groups of men doing, that walk out onto the Moors every Friday night?

Amanda McGarrett is about to discover that one of the selling points of Gloum - it’s so good, you’ll never leave - has more than one meaning.

Blood Ceremony

published by New English Library, March 1976

Thursday, June 16

Sweat, a Perry Compton mystery


When Perry Compton gets a call from his old friend Harry McNamara, he thinks it’ll be an excuse to hit the hotspots of Miami and reminisce about old times. But Harry’s now running the “Perfect 10!” gym and his star employee - a redheaded aerobics instructor called Cybill Daniels - has been receiving some nasty phone calls. Then she’s followed home one night, by a man who says he’s going to cut her up, one slice at a time, until no-one will want to see her again.

It’s not as simple as it all appears though and, very soon, Perry is knee-deep in corrupt city officials, lycra-clad lovelies, New York heavies and Cybill, who really wants to get to know him better.

Sweat - a Perry Compton mystery.

Pan Books, May 1984

Saturday, February 19

Cindy's Revenge, by Peter Raft


Cindy Moran is widowed at twenty-five - beautiful, resourceful and a killer. Before (in the best selling novel “Pearls”), she went after Mike Farraday, who killed her husband over a pearl smuggling deal that turned sour.

But her satisfaction is short-lived, because she’s just discovered that Mike Farraday was just a pawn. There are bosses above him, men who’ll stop at nothing - and no-one - to keep the truth quiet.

If Cindy thought the depths of depravity were shocking last time, she’s totally unprepared for what she has to endure this time around.


Cindy’s Revenge

Published by Mayflower Books (583 11825 2), February 1977

Wednesday, February 16

Cherry, a Perry Compton mystery


When Perry Compton waves his model girlfriend Sue Jerzyk off at the airport, the last thing he expects is to have a case fall into his lap. But it does, when he witnesses an assault in the car park. Stepping in to help, he then takes the intended victim - an attractive blonde - for a drink. As they talk, she reveals that her name is Cherry and she works as a Burlesque dancer. She’s also been receiving death threats, though this is the first time anyone has tried to attack her.

Finding Cherry charmingly na├»ve as she is sexy, Perry can’t help but get involved and soon finds himself in the middle of a case that features dancers, strippers, bent cops and an Assistant DA who is very keen for Cherry not to spill the beans.


Cherry - a Perry Compton mystery.

Pan Books, September 1982

Wednesday, February 9

Pearls, by Peter Raft


Cindy Moran was a gorgeous, vivacious woman in her twenties. Her life should have been opening up in front of her, full of love and laughter and parties. But she was a widow, her husband killed when a pearl smuggling deal turned sour.

Now Cindy has a mission. She’s going to kill Mike Farraday, her husband’s business partner and it doesn’t matter to her how long it takes, how far she has to go or what she has to do to achieve her aim.

But as Cindy gets closer to her quarry, she is shocked at the levels of depravity she has to endure.

Pearls

Published by Mayflower Books (533-12555 x), August 1976

Saturday, December 4

Toe Tags, by Peter Raft


Some men like breasts, some like bums, some like full red lips. Barry Charles loves women’s feet. He likes to stroke them, to pamper them, to kiss them and to do much more. So much more. Worse, Barry doesn’t care if the woman enjoys the attention or not.

Sweeping through the London of today, finding his prey in the clubs and disco’s that glitter in the capital, Barry is looking for the perfect feet. And when he meets Stef Sukowski, an American exchange student, it appears that he’s found them. But Stef has other ideas. And she certainly doesn’t want to end up wearing…

Toe Tags

Published by Fontana Books (97800061522137), December 1979

(following the collapse of his Mayflower contract - they wanted him to stay on, but terms couldn’t be agreed - Raft signed with the UK based Fontana in the hope that this would build his name in his beloved home country. The book sold well and a good, solid story helped).

Death Stalks Her, by Peter Raft


Annie Sexton has a plan in life. Meet and marry an older man, get him to make her chief beneficiary in his will and then do her utmost to lead him to his death - athletic sex, scares, anything will do. Annie is very good, she’s just about to marry husband number three and he’s richer than the others put together. He’s also heavily into Black Magic.

On a rain-swept night, Annie tempts him to a tryst in the local cemetery and she once again becomes a young widow. But in death, her deceased husband is now more powerful than she could have ever imagined. And from that point on, with every step she takes…

Death Stalks Her

Published by Fontana Books (97800061522167), May 1980

(the second of the two book deal Raft had with Fontana, following the end of his Mayflower contract (who'd actually wanted him to stay on, though they couldn’t agree terms). Although this had good returns for a genre novel, it wasn’t the success that Fontana were looking for and so they didn’t renew the contract. Raft had set up shop at Corgi within a month).

Thursday, December 2

Torso, by Peter Raft


Declan Aherne was trained to torture and kill in a dirty war. Once the government had no more need for him, they turned him loose on the streets. But he liked his job - and wanted to continue.

The only person who can stop Aherne is his old army buddy Kit Branigan, now a New York cop. When the bodies start turning up in his city, with the tell-tale marks on the torso, Branigan knows who’s behind it all.

When Jill Jones, Branigan’s partner, goes missing and he starts to receive mysterious phone calls and messages, the race is on.

Torso

Published by Mayflower Books (583-12545 x), August 1979

Publishers Weekly, in their review, called it "a scary mixture of Lucio Fulci and Ed McBain's '87th Precinct' series". Peter Raft, apparently, was thrilled at that.

Monday, October 11

Rampage, by Peter Raft


Carolyn Baron was a young girl, caught up in the wrong crowd, doing the wrong things. The petty theft wasn’t too bad, the blue movies were a step in the wrong direction, but when her friends sold her off to be a sex-toy, that was the last straw.

As she is about to be raped, Carolyn lashes out at her “owner”, killing him outright. With her owner’s gangster friends after her, she goes on a rampage, to take out everyone who had led her to that situation.

One scumbag at a time.

Rampage

Published by Corgi Books (552 07850 6), February 1981

(the only Corgi book Raft ever published. Following the two book deal with Fontana (itself following the end of his Mayflower contract), he tried Corgi as they were primarily a UK house and he thought it would help with his homeland book sales. Unfortunately, the book was sold to completely the wrong market - blue movies and revenge, stalwarts of Raft’s work, do not necessarily appeal to the crime crowd. As it was, Pan - who published Raft’s ‘proper’ crime series, wouldn’t touch this with a bargepole).

Friday, October 8

Dice, a Perry Compton mystery


Perry Compton is enjoying some downtime - his girlfriend, Sue Jerzyk, is in town and she wants to hit the beach. Never wanting to pass up the opportunity to see her without too many clothes on, they find a quiet spot. Quiet, that is, until the woman comes running across the sand, blood pouring from a gash in her head, screaming for help.

In that moment, Perry is a target - hitmen are after a prime witness but the problem is, nobody quite knows who they’re looking for. The girl on the beach was simply the last in a long line of failed hits. And now Perry is in their sights. And so is Sue.


Dice - a Perry Compton mystery.

Pan Books, September 1983

Blue Movie Killer, a Perry Compton mystery


Porn is coming to Miami Beach and Perry Compton gets called in by an old friend when the lead actress is kidnapped. When she is found dead, several days later, tensions runs high. Very soon, another actress is kidnapped and, this time, local stations are issued a stark warning - “Stop the film, or the whores get it”.

Delving deep into the seedy underbelly of Miami and Dade County, Perry Compton is faced with his toughest case yet.


Blue Movie Killer - a Perry Compton mystery

Pan Books, July 1981

Neon Bruise, a Perry Compton mystery


Perry Compton is called in to help out an old friend. Gayle Anderson runs “Neon Nights”, the hottest nightclub on Miami beach. The problem is, some of her customers are winding up dead in the toilets. Everything points to rival nightclub owners, so it’s up to Perry to prove it.

But there’s a new drug in town - Neon Bruise - that strips away every moral impulse of its users. Some take sex to the next level, some take even more drugs, some decide to settle old scores.


Neon Bruise - a Perry Compton mystery

Pan Books, August 1984

(With this book, Raft and Pan parted company. By all accounts, it was a completely amicable agreement, but sales were known to be dropping on the series and Raft was desperately unhappy with the cover art).

Wednesday, October 6

Red Lady, by Peter Raft


International model and lover to Kings and princes and movie stars, Heidi Benson was known the world over. Devastatingly beautiful, intelligent and funny, women wanted to be her, men wanted to bed her.

But Heidi Benson had a secret. One that was locked up deep down inside, from things that her step-father had shown her and taught her. Things that sometimes, just sometimes, Heidi had to act upon.

When she meets movie star Steve Lockhead, sparks fly. Until they go to Acapulco, to shoot a movie and Steve says that one word that always tipped her over the edge and into a murderous rampage.

Red Lady

Published by Signet Books (T3768), December 1973
(published as a “second-string-quickie”, this actually performed better than “The Possession” and Signet never published Raft in a cheaper edition again)

Tuesday, October 5

Zombie, by Peter Raft


Jack & Sally Otter are on holiday in the Caribean, enjoying everything the islands have to offer. Until one day, on a beach, when Sally is assaulted. Coming to her aid, Jack inadvertently kills her attacker and as they flee for their lives, they hear curses being shouted at the sky.

That night, as Sally recovers, she notices something moving about in the trees outside their bedroom window. Jack, recovering with the aid of a whiskey in the bar, notices a commotion in the pool area.

Their hotel, it seems, have undergone a zombie siege. And the Otters are their targets, but not before they’ve had their fill of the hotel guests.

‘They came back from the dead…with a taste for the living!’

Zombie

Published by Signet (421-AE1202), April 1975

Avenge Me, by Peter Raft


When Diane Peters witnesses the brutal murder of her lover, she suffers a mental breakdown. Placed in medical care, everyone thinks she’ll make a complete recovery but no-one anticipated the ghosts who now surround her.

They don’t want Diane to get better - they want to use her body for their own means, to wreak their vengeance on those who brutalised, abused and murdered them.

And Diane, slave to the ghosts and unable to break free, much become a pawn in a murder game.

Avenge Me

Published by Mayflower Books (583-12429 1), August 1978

Saturday, October 2

Co-ed Killer, by Peter Raft

Josie James is new on campus, at the exclusive Dawson School. Quickly fitting in with the other girls in her dorm, she has a lot of fun - late night parties, meeting the boys in the dorm across the quad and sexual experimentation with her new friends.

But there’s somebody else in the dorms, enjoying watching all the fun and it’s not long before he wants to get involved too.

So Josie has a new admirer. The trouble is, if she turns him down, it might be the last date she ever goes on!

Co-ed Killer

Published by Dell Books (4338), July 1982

Legs - a Perry Compton mystery

Perry Compton agrees to do a friend a favour and look after his beach-front house. Good timing, as it’s being rented out by Si Deed, a photographer who likes to dabble in the sleazy side of life.

Astra Garland is now a model, though she was once one of the sweethearts of American cinema. Drink and drugs have worn away that gloss, but her legs are still worth a fortune and she’s having them photographed by Si Deed.

The first attack on her is foiled by Compton but, a day later, her car is run off the road. It obvious that someone wants to get Astra “Legs” Garland out of the way - it’s up to Perry Compton to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Legs - a Perry Compton mystery

Pan Books, August 1980

Slice -a Perry Compton mystery

In an effort to either widen his reach and stretch his talent (my thoughts) or "pick up more of an audience, I had hungry mouths to feed" (Mr Raft, in an interview), Raft wrote a series of novels featuring private eye Perry Compton. Published through Pan Books in the 70s, going into the early 80s, all of them were set in Miami (where Raft lived at the time).

Perry Compton is down on his luck. Busted out of the police force, he sets up in private practise just as local socialite Hannah Harare is spotted driving erratically. Following her tyre-tracks, the police discover a hit and run victim, covered in knife slashes.

Did Hannah do it? Was the victim trying to blackmail her, since Hannah’s private life was anything but. Or is there something else going on, someone from Hannah’s past, who feels cheated out of the life he should have had and who will stop at nothing to get what he feels is rightly his?

Slice - a Perry Compton mystery

Pan Books, October 1979

Tuesday, September 28

Vampiress Returns, by Peter Raft



Kathleen Bennett is back, tracking down the hottest news for Miami’s fabulous Channel 5. Her experiences with Demelza, the Vampiress who killed her boyfriend Steve, have left scars that no amount of cheap sex and strong Bourbon can cure.

Then bodies start to appear across the city, drained of blood. Letters arrive at the station, addressed to Kathleen, supposedly from Steve.

Could it possibly be that Demelza, the last surviving member of the family Vlad Dracul, is back? It’s up to Kathleen to discover in a grisly race against time.

Vampiress Returns

Published by Dell Books (4381), July 1984

Sunday, September 26

The Possession, by Peter Raft


Angie Dewar is an IT Girl, living life to the full with parties, pills and plenty of men. She and some of her friends decide to spend a week in the country, at the old Dewar Mansion in the middle of Dartmoor. Quickly, they’re skinny-dipping, taking drugs and enjoying each others bodies.

But something else is in the Dewar Mansion, an entity that has waited a long time to taste the spoils of youth, of firm and supple skin and moist lips. And when Angie pricks her finger one night, the dripping blood finds the entity. And the entity finds Angie.

The Possession - A Novel Of Sexual Terror!

Published by Signet Books (451-AE1205), July 1974