Two more vintage '70s paperback covers to compare, this time Smart as the Devil, the 1975 debut novel from Felice Picano. At the top is the 1976 paperback; below, the 1978 reprint, both from Dell. I vaguely recognized Picano's name from my days shelving this kind of paperback as a used bookstore clerk; Picano wrote bestseller-type thrillers, sort of an Ira Levin lite, maybe? Ever-present '70s horror-paperback blurb comparing it to Rosemary's Baby: present and accounted for!
As for his other titles, man, I just love, absolutely love these other Dell paperbacks of his. He may have began his career writing what look to be tawdry contemporary thrillers, but he's got excellent cred in the gay literary world today. But these glorious old paperback cover illustrations are a cornucopia of bad hair and sexual threat. And I wouldn't have it any other way!
The Lure (Dell 1980) Eyes (Dell 1977) The Mesmerist (Dell 1977)
Looking for a forgotten horror novel or short story? Remember the cheesy paperback art but not who wrote the book? Send me an email at toomuchhorrorfiction[at]gmail.com describing it and if I don't know it, one of my readers might!
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