Killer, Come Back to Me

Ray Bradbury. Hard Case Crime, $39.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-78909-539-5
The 20 worthy tales in this diverse collection of crime stories from Bradbury (1920–2012) originally appeared in popular lifestyle magazines, fantasy and horror pulps, and mystery and detective magazines during the 1940s and 1950s. Naturally, science fiction elements underpin several, most notably the opener, “A Touch of Petulance,” in which a remorseful time traveler attempts to alter his past. Elsewhere, devilish black humor boosts heart-pounding horror in chilling gems like “The Screaming Woman,” in which a child is adamant she hears the screams of a woman buried alive, but is unable to persuade others to initiate a rescue. Other highlights include the title tale, in which a gangster’s moll grooms a man into becoming a replica of her deceased boyfriend, and “And So Died Riabouchinska,” in which a ventriloquist’s dummy holds the answer to a cold case. Bradbury’s flair for dazzling imagery elevates pulp fiction fare like “Dead Men Rise Up Never,” a kidnapping yarn. Quirky tales concerning robots and talking marionettes, though not to everyone’s taste, showcase the author’s inventiveness. This tribute volume should appeal to more than just Bradbury fans. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/12/2020
Release date: 08/18/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-78909-665-1
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