Woolrich biographer and novelist Nevins does noir lovers a genuine service with his second anthology of stories by one of the masters of psychological suspense and terror. The quality of the fiction gathered here is higher than that of his previous collection, 2004's Night and Fear, and fairly represents Woolrich's exceptional gift for crafting claustrophobic situations and the shattered lives of the desperate. Long-time fans will simultaneously relish and be frustrated by the volume's high point: five, nonconsecutive chapters of an incomplete novel. Woolrich's exceptional hard-boiled prose (""His necktie was patterned in regimented stripes, but they were perhaps the wrong regiments, selected from opposing armies.""), and his pervasive and compelling, if depressing fatalistic worldview will inspire newcomers to seek out his other works. Even though this is not the absolute best work of the man Nevins justifiably calls ""the Hitchcock of the written word,"" these stories are head-and-shoulders above most others in the genre and richly deserve this reprinting, enhanced by Nevins' scholarly notes.
Reviewed on: 08/01/2005 Release date: 08/01/2005 Genre: Fiction