Len Levinson on STREETS OF BLOOD
STREETS OF BLOOD came about through the following chain of events. One day I received a phone call from an editor at Manor. He asked me to come to his office and discuss a project. I knew him when he was an editor at Belmont-Tower, don’t remember his name now.
When I arrived in his office, he explained they were developing a series based on the popular movie DEATH WISH starring Charles Bronson, and wanted me to write one of the novels. Naturally I said yes due to my constant need for money. So a contract was drawn up and I signed it.
The DEATH WISH movie was very controversial at the time. I’d never seen it but had read about it in many publications. The story was of a self-appointed vigilante killing criminals in New York City. Many people thought that vigilantism was horrible. Others thought it was a great idea, because NYC was a high crime city back then, and the NYPD seemed ineffective.
I really got into the novel because I’d been a crime victim numerous times, mugged in front of a bar in the East 60s, mugged on the subway, held up at knife point in the East Village, and a few of my apartments had been burglarized. It was a great pleasure to kill criminals in my imagination, like I was getting even at last. Regarding the plot, mine was entirely original except for the basic vigilante premise.
I’m very grateful for Jack’s insightful review. I especially appreciated his comments on sex in novels. Some writers go the straight porno route with lots of anatomical details. Others try to rip-off PLAYBOY or James Bond. I tried to be true to life. I’m glad Jack thought I was successful.