Sunday, March 27, 2016
Heathen Springs, by James L. Ross
Nice private eye-type story by Mr. Ross in his second appearance on this page.
Hugh Brewster is a disillusioned psychology professor who becomes an investigator for a security company. One of their clients is a movie studio and when the son of a minor star is kidnapped Brewster is sent into the desert where filming had been going on location to try to solve the dilemma.
The local cops aren't much help and the studio boss isn't willing to contribute to a ransom: "I'm not hanging out a sign saying I'm a soft touch." But the worst part is thatno one is calling with a ransom demand. If they don't want money than all the other possibilities are grim.
The story is good all the way through but what I loved was the ending, a cold conversation between Brewster and his boss that reminded me of Hammett's Continental Op chatting with the Old Man.