Johnny Merak

Created by A.J. Merak
Pseudonym of John S. Glasby
Other pseudonyms include include Chuck Adams, Tex Bradley, A. D. Brent, Randall Conway, Manning K. Robertson
House pseudonyms include James T. Elton

“Somebody has to go out there and do the dirty work, Dawn, or the world will never be a clean place to live in.”
The Savage City

JOHNNY MERAK used to be a small time crook, involved in “the rackets.” He did three years in San Quentin, before he became a Los Angeles private eye (after ratting out his boss), in a series so hokey and generic it must have come out of post-war Britain’s Mushroom Jungle–and it did!

Naturally, Johnny’s a hard-boiled customer, and the fast-paced but bland stories are jammed with gunfights, fistfights and car chases, a lot of tough guy patter–the books are narrated by Johnny, and of course a loyal gal Friday to be kidnapped or threatened regularly, in this case true-blue, dark-haired Dawn Grahame.

Oh, and for those seeking a little more fromage, the books originally came out under the pen name of… John Merak.

So expect a lot of breathlessly purple prose, set in a mythical America populated mostly by over-sexed babes and gangsters, all driving big shiny cars that they parked by the “kerb.”

But someone must have been reading them…


John S. Glasby was born in 1928 in born in East Retford in Nottinghamshire, England, and graduated from university with an honours degree in Chemistry. He started his career as a research chemist for I.C.I, in 1952, and worked for them until his retirement, cranking out a ton of books in the 1950s and 60s, under a tsunami of aliases: over 300 westerns, science fiction, horror, hospital romances and yes, detective novels, put out by the notoriously cheap mushroom publisher Spencer. Following his retirement, he allegedly just kept pumping them out, right up to his death in 2011, although I suspect that many, if not all, of the later Johnny Merak novels published since 2007 were actually regurgitated and possibly retitled novels dating back to fifties, dumped on an unsuspecting public by his hungry heirs.


  • “With over 300 novels to his credit, I’m sure Glasby couldn’t hit grandslams with every swing. If you’re looking for a tightly-paced crime novel with an original concept, (but this) isn’t it. At just 157-pages, it took me a week to grind through it. There are much better books out there.”
    Paperback Warrior (June 2019)


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

One thought on “Johnny Merak

  1. Hello – do you happen to know where I could buy a copy of This Time Forever? I’ve searched everywhere online! Thanks

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