The best of the old pulp noir mystery and detective novels have an immediacy that really grabs you. They don't feel dated at all, even sixty or more years after publication. Almost all of Fredric Brown's work has that quality. So does Catcher in the Rye, although of course that's not a mystery or noir.Touch of Evil (originally titled Badge of Evil, but renamed after the release of the Orson Welles movie that was loosely based on the book) has that timeless quality, too. It's short, particularly compared to modern novels, but the story is gripping and carries the reader along. It's a tale of corruption as old as the institution of law itself.The plot moves swiftly, with no slow patches at all. If anything, it seems to draw to a close a little too quickly, and be a little too sparse; I'd have liked to read a bit more detail about the lives of the Holt family. But all in all it's a very enjoyable book, and re-reads well. I strongly recommend it, and will be searching out other books by the authors ("Whit Masterson" being the pseudonym of two co-authors).