Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Blood Runs Cold, by Robert Bloch

(pb; 1961: short story anthology)

Overall review:

This excellent seventeen-story collection showcases Bloch’s trademark cleverness and dark humor, as well as his economic, effective use of words.

Standout stories:

The Show Must Go On” (a womanizing actor is confronted by the outraged father of one of his conquests);

The Cure” (a trio of criminals, waiting for their heist money in the tropics, encounter macabre complications);

The Masterpiece” (a painter gets revenge on his treacherous lover);

Where the Buffalo Roam” (on post-atomic war Earth, buffalo herders are shaken out of their happy reverie when a burning light fills the night sky);

Is Betsy Still Alive?” (suspenseful tale about a burnt-out writer, a shady Hollywood player and a dead movie star);

Word of Honor” (darkly funny occurrences happen when a plague of truth-telling takes over a town);

The Pin” (creepy tale about a painter who rents a loft in a supposedly abandoned building, and discovers he’s not alone);

The Big Kick” (two beatnik con artists play a “creepnik square”);

Sock Finish” (great work about an aging silent film-era star who’s used and dumped by his Hollywood “friends”).

Other stories include: “Daybroke”; “Showbiz”; “I Like Blondes”; “Dig That Crazy Grave!”; “Final Performance” (with its Dead Silence-like denouement); “All on a Golden Afternoon”; “The Gloating Place”; “I Do Not Love Thee, Dr. Fell”.

By all mean, check this out.

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