Anyone who is old enough to remember what great fun it was to crack open a brand-new magazine (from Black Mask to Collier's) and discover two or three excellent stories by your favorite writers will beam with pleasure at Otto Penzler's Murder and Obsession. As in his two previous volumes of original stories (Murder for Revenge and Murder for Love), Penzler knows how to pick a wide and deep variety of writers and then coax them into producing their best work.
In "Burglary in Progress," Kent Anderson brings back his errant hero Hanson from Sympathy for the Devil and Night Dogs for a short but spectacular burst of urban angst. James Crumley's C.W. Sughrue, last seen in The Mexican Tree Duck, explodes again in a story called "The Mexican Pig Bandit." But most of the writers, from Edna Buchanan and James W. Hall to Ed McBain and Anne Perry, use the occasion to leave their series characters far behind (especially Dennis Lehane, whose absolutely riveting "Running Out of Dog" is as full of meat as most full-length novels). --Dick Adler
Kent Anderson * Edna Buchanan * Amanda Cross * James Crumley * Philip Friedman * James W. Hall * Ed McBain * Michael Malone * Joyce Carol Oates * Shel Silverstein * Eric van Lustbader
Her toenails were bloodred, her lips were blue in Edna Buchanan's "The Red Shoes," a riveting tale that takes us into the life of a foot fetishist who steps into the middle of a murder....What happens when a hard-nosed insurance investigator lights up a joint and sniffs out a case of arson? It's a tale that only Elmore Leonard could tell, in "Sparks."...Elizabeth George reaches into English history in "I, Richard," as an academic obsessed by a priceless artifact plots a deadly course of seduction--only to discover that fate is the most quixotic mistress of all.
From lethal spikes to fatal kisses, from mad dogs to battle-crazed Englishmen, here indeed is Murder and Obsession, in these and 12 other all-new stories from Anne Perry, Dennis Lehane, Eric van Lustbader and others. For these are the best of the best, America's favorite writers exploring a deliciously chilling subject: obsession at its most insidious.
From the Paperback edition.
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