One of the best crime novels of the 50's, and a sublime example of American Noir, is BLACK WINGS HAS MY ANGEL by Elliott Chaze, whose earlier war novel, THE STAINLESS STEEL KIMONO, was much admired by Ernest Hemmingway. Chaze took the standard dime store crime novel and turned it into an edgy piece of literature. His use of complex sentences, long descriptive passages, and characters who continue to surprise us throughout the narrative prove that the American crime novel was capable of greater depths. The story follows the turbulent love affair of a pair of uprooted misfits, an ex-hooker and an ex-con, who are brought together by a mutual love of money. Adrift between the cracks of society, they form a bond that is less like love and more like fate. Left on their own they would have led lives of criminal mischief, misdemeanor and petty crime, but together, embarking on a dark journey across the American landscape, they create absolute mayhem.