Last night I dug out one of those cardboardy triples from the
Detective Club and read this Brown novel in one sitting (it's short).
A man's wife is kidnapped, right after two other similar kidnappings
of other people's wives. Of the previous ones, one was killed and the
other one was released after ransom was paid. The man, our man, has
five days to gather the money and recover his beloved. Throughout,
Brown moves this along like a, well, like a thriller. This is a
thriller. I would be surprised if it took Brown more than five days to
write up what is essentially a short-story into novel length. He did
So, Fredric Brown could today be truthfully marketed as a writer of
thrillers. Oh, and there is plenty of drinking throughout, in fact,
the drinking is almost constant. It could be marketed as an alcoholic
thriller. Did I say that not everything is what it seems to be? I bet
you didn't need to be told, Brown being the sly guy that he was.
If you run into this one, sink your teeth into it. It won't do as a
three-course meal, but it is a wonderful snack of a thriller.
The triple carboard menu also has a Margaret Millar novel that I don't
think I have read, and something else by Andrew Garve (does anybody
remember him?). I may try the Millar -- it has been a long time since
I've read anything of hers.
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