Saturday, October 24, 2020

An Abundance of Bennetts

So here’s how it happened: A couple of weeks ago I was strolling past the bookshelves in my wife’s home office, when I spied a 1971 Berkley Highland paperback reprint of The Girl Inside (1968), Jeannette Eyerly’s short tale about “a teenage girl’s painful trek to emotional stability and maturity after her parents’ deaths and her attempted suicide.” I wouldn’t have thought twice about that book, except its cover illustration looked familiar. Sure enough, upon closer inspection I found the signature “Bennett”—as in Harry Bennett (1919-2012)—in the lower left-hand corner of the novel’s front.

Ever since late 2017, when I wrote the first in what would become a lengthy series of Killer Covers posts about Bennett and his artistry, I have been on the lookout for further examples of his work. Quite by accident, I’d came across a trove of additional Bennett-painted paperbacks while I was helping to clear out my wife’s late parents’ home (see here, here, and here). And now I had encountered one more, just resting casually among my wife’s books, a holdover from her childhood that I had not previously noticed.

Then two days later, another Bennett composition crossed my vision, this time buried in a post on the Facebook page Vintage Paperback & Book Covers. Titled Last Hope House, that 1968 Fawcett Gold Medal edition was penned by one Williams Forrest, who apparently contributed to a variety of fiction genres, from sexy suspense (Seeds of Violence, 1957) to westerns (White Apache, 1966).

Possessing a generous inclination, I wanted to share both of these recent finds with Killer Covers readers.

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