Monday, November 26, 2018
This is the second appearance here by Richardson.
Sometimes it is 10% tale and 90% telling. This is a simple story of three guys who "decide to up their game from B&E and liquor stores." We don't learn much more about Ted, Greg, and Hector than what position they used to play back in Little League.
So this piece is not big on plot or character development. What it does have is a wonderful way of unwrapping the adventures of our unlucky trio. You see, Plan A is to rob a cash-checking joint. They throw that over for Plan B which is an armored car that Greg's Uncle Arnie drives.
But Arnie gets fired, leading to Plan C. Except Arnie shows up, drunk and demands to participate, which brings on Plan D...
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Sorry this is late; I have been on vacation. That might also explain why I did not read any new stories this week I liked enough to review. As I have done before when this happened I am going to review a classic story, one of my favorites.
I first read this story in the 1970s, published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, with a stupid title I won't repeat here. (Editor Frederic Dannay was famous for deciding he knew more about titles than the authors of the stories he published.)
This is a spy story and a great suspense tale. The nameless protagonist is a spy in a hostile country, also unnamed. It is implied that she is working for a Western democracy. And she is in big trouble.
She has just posted an incriminating report when she realizes the police are watching her. At any moment they will scoop her up. torture her, interrogate her, and kill her.
But there is one fragile reed she can cling to. If the bad guys don't think she has seen them, they will keep following her, hoping she will lead to useful information.
If she runs, they'll grab her. If she tries to get on a bus, they will collect her. All she can do is keep walking, and hope desperately to find a way out...
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
This is the second appearance in this space by Chen.
Imagine being an illegal immigrant in this country.
Now imagine you have murdered your sister's abusive husband.
Now imagine that said husband was a gangleader, so now both cops and mobsters are chasing you and your sister.
Sounds like enough trouble for one man to bear?
Now imagine your sister has Alzheimer's...
And you think you've had a bad year... A very moving and suspenseful tale.
Monday, November 5, 2018
To the best of my knowledge I have never read any work by the late William E. Wallace, reporter and mystery writer. But I have read enough of this book to get some sense of what his writing may have been like. Pretty noir stuff.
The narrator of this tale, Michael Roth, also used to be a reporter. Or maybe we should say he is currently a reporter without a job, struggling to survive as a freelancer, writing Internet clickbait. (See the title of this story.)
He gets a call from somebody named Brack who used to be a hitman. Would he like to meet and talk about Brack's illustrious career?
He would. But Brack, as it turns out, has another, more dangerous offer to make...