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University at Buffalo Libraries

George Kelley Paperback & Pulp Fiction Collection

You Can't Stop Me

cover image By: Ard, William (male)
Publisher: Popular Library (526)
Place of Publication: New York, NY
Catalog #: Kelley Box 420: PS3551 .R35 Y66 1953
Contributor: N. Kuhl


Era: 1950s Author as on Cover: William Ard Geographic Locale: New York City and River Town, New Jersey Date of Publication: 1953  |  Original Date: 1952 Setting: urban; offices, brokerage firm, mansions, various gambling establishments in River Town Motives: revenge, greed, mob territory disputes Alternate Title: .38 This is Murder

Plot Summary

Private detective Timothy Dane inadvertently becomes involved with the mob when he shoots and kills a mobster during the course of an investigation into the disappearance of an innocent girl. The girl's father suspects she has been kidnapped by her employer, a stockbroker named Louis Gray. Gray, formerly Lewis Graziano, sends some hoods to trash Dane's office in an effort to dissuade Dane from pursuing the case. Dane tracks down Fats Gallo, one of the hoods, and kills him in a gun fight. Gallo's death, mistakenly attributed to a rival gang of mobsters, launches a minor gang war, and gains the attention of The Association, a national organized crime syndicate. Dane persists in his search for the missing girl, and uncovers a great deal about Gray and The Association. When he mistakes Gray's wife, Virginia, for the missing girl, Dane and Virginia fall in love.

Major Characters

Timothy Dane adult male, about six feet tall, clean cut, good looking, blue eyes, private detective

Lieutenant Betters adult male, older than Dane, a large man with a "leathery" face, an honest cop working in a corrupt police department

Louis Gray formerly Lewis Graziano, adult male, an enormous man, a "hulking giant", darkly handsome, well-dressed, Chicago bootlegger turned New York stockbroker

Stix Larson adult male, his physical appearance is compared to that of a rat, Gray's right hand man and known hit man

Captain Patrick Kerrigan adult male, head of River Town's corrupt police force; he is on Gray's payroll and actively protects Gray's interests and gambling houses in River Town

Ellen Robbins "Ellie", adult female, pretty brunette, generally referred to as a "kid", worked at Gray's brokerage house until her mysterious disappearance

Virginia Gray adult female, twenty-five years old, beautiful brunette, Gray's wife, she was deceived and tricked into marrying Gray, who regularly beats her

Fats Gallo adult male, one of Gray's cronies who runs a River Town gambling house, killed in a shootout with Dane which starts the gang war at the novel's center

Frankie Quinn adult male, member of a rival gang

Joseph Robbins adult male, fifties, round, bald, meek; Ellen Robbins' father, hires Dane to find his missing daughter

George Watson adult male, also known as "Golden Boy" and "Goldilocks", well-dressed, looks like a young college professor, key player in the Association

Miss Lorna Mason adult female, formerly Lucy Malone, gorgeous blonde whom Dane is investigating for an insurance company as the novel opens; she is a "bad girl" who likes parties, drinking and diamond jewelry



Level of Violence

Dane carries a .45 and most of the mobsters carry .38s. In addition to gunplay, Gray strikes his wife, as does Stix Larson, and Dane strikes Gray at the brokerage house


one attempted rape; Dane has sex twice (with two women who, coincidentally, are sisters)

Gender Roles

women in this novel need protection, rescue, or both


characters are, for the most part, European-American; mobsters are generally Italian-Americans; several police officers are Irish-Americans (including Patrick Kerrigan, corrupt police captain). Dane is also of Irish descent.

Alcohol/Drug Abuse

most characters drink socially (the highball is a frequent drink of choice). Louis Gray is an alcoholic who met and married his wife during a brief sober period.

Law Enforcement

both good and bad cops are represented; Dane deals with a good cop in New York City, but warns him to stay out of River Town because it is dangerous and lawless.

Subject Headings

New York (N.Y.)/ New Jersey/ Gangs/ Stock Brokers/ Detectives, Private/ Gangsters/ Mafia