Inspired by a single premise--``a young woman is found dead on the apartment floor''--this collection of stories has a nice quota of top-notch tales ranging from procedurals to horror to science fiction. In Nancy Pickard's evocative ``The Dead Past,'' a psychiatrist tries to help a young girl who is afraid of everything and everyone. The father in Andrew Vachss's ``Anytime I Want'' brutalizes his daughters, killing one and prompting his sons to take revenge. In the not-so-distant future of Barbara Paul's ``Who What When Where Why,'' investigative reporting is too dangerous to be done in person, and a freelancer seeks to avenge the destruction of the beautiful simulacra who carries out investigations in her stead. In ``Darke Street'' by Gary Brandner, an elderly woman buys a brief span of gorgeous youth. The creative madman who narrates Rex Miller's ``Still Life with Gold Frame'' must write voluminously or die. Another sort of madman comes to grief with a cat in Teri White's ``Merlin and the Hit Man.'' There is enough variety and change of pace here to maintain the interest of both the casual and addicted mystery reader. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992 Release date: 02/01/1992 Genre: Fiction
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