Gorman's taste runs to hardboiled crime fiction that, like Hitchcock films, reveals the sinister impulse toward subversion and violence in ordinary people. The 39 tales, including Murder Me for Nickels , Peter Rabe's 1960 novella about jukebox racketeers, are a pleasing mix of new offerings and classics from the pulp magazines of the '50s and '60s. Ray Bradbury's ``The Candy Skull'' is a chilling lover's rivalry set against Mexico's Day of Death celebration. Mickey Spillane's heartfelt ``The Affair with the Dragon Lady,'' on aging men trying to preserve their youth, combines emotive and criminal elements wonderfully. The resourceful Gorman succeeds in providing a surfeit of surprises in an overall delightful collection, although a few lesser pieces might have been excluded, such as ``A Dreadful Lemon Pie,'' Timothy P. Banse's hackneyed yarn of a psychic who leads police to a serial killer. Gorman is executive editor of Mystery Scene magazine. (Jan. )
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988 Release date: 12/01/1988 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.