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Title: Let It All Bleed Out
Editor: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Crime Fiction
From the Inside Cover:
Alfie Doesn’t Mind Being Called Square
Alfred Hitchcock is frankly shocked by the temptations that surround us today. X-rated movies. Sweaty centerfolds. Naughty novels. Kids who used to cut grass now smoking it. All of this fills Alfie with alarm.
Let’s return to old-fashioned fun, he pleads. A nice gory stabbing. A neatly drawn strangler’s noose. A proper pistol shot in the dark. A scream of horror that makes you walk away whistling.
For, as the master shows in this nerve-twisting new collection, fads come and go, but evil is here to stay. So let’s strip the mod clothes off the victims, and—
LET IT ALL BLEED OUT
Table of Contents:
COLD NIGHT ON LAKE LENORE
THE ATTITUDE OF MURDER
SHERIFF PEAVY’S DOUBLE DEAD CASE (A NOVELETTE)
David A. Heller
THE MAN WHO HATED TURKEY (A NOVELETTE)
A PADLOCK FOR CHARLIE DRAPER
MAC WITHOUT A KNIFE
THE CHINLESS WONDER
NO TEARS FOR AN INFORMER
H. A. De Rosso
A RARE BIRD
THE COMIC OPERA
As much as I really like the stories Hitchcock puts together, I am realizing that having a smaller amount actually works in its favor. Being left wanting more actually enhances the stories I’ve already read. Instead of being a book glutton and gorging myself and feeling sick, having just enough is the correct amount. Looking back over the various books, it seems like 300 pages is the upper limit. After that I start to feel too full and get cranky about stuff I wouldn’t normally.
Cold Night on Lake Lenore was a great opener. A man patiently waits for the perfect opportunity to kill his wife. It arrives but he is seen by another woman, who thinks he did it to be with her. He marries her and the last thought is of him thinking he just has to wait for the perfect opportunity again, and that he’s a patient man. It got me thinking about the kind of people who murder others. I’d like to think that the kind of person who could do something like this (murder someone and yet showing perfect restraint until the “perfect” moment) doesn’t exist, as the willingness to do the one would preclude the ability to do the other, but alas, all you have to do is read the news and you read about some guy who’s killed 3 wives and they only caught him because he got cocky about disposing of the remains of Number 4. Just goes to show humans aren’t just simple blobs of matter, even if that’s a negative example, sigh.
The Chinless Wonder was kind of on the other side. A loser of a man decides that he’s sick of being himself and gets a disguise and creates a new identity and hooks up with some chick. Everything is going extremely well until he gets mixed up with the mob. In the end, the girl and her boyfriend were playing him and set him up for the murder of his alter-ego and then to really nail him, the mob boss. Oh, it was priceless watching the pieces move into place. I wasn’t sure exactly where the story was going but after he helped sink a big sack in the river, I figured it out and like I said, just watched the pieces move into position. It was a thing of wonder.
This was just long enough to satisfy me and yet still leaving me wanting more. The perfect combination really.