THE DEADLIEST GAMES by Janet Hutchings


Tales of Psychological Suspense from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
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 Sixteen middling stories, all except Stanley Ellin's peerless reprint--``The Moment of Decision,'' dating from 1991-92. The headliner is Joyce Carol Oates's ``The Model,'' already available in Edward D. Hoch's annual anthology (p. 1031). Other authors, freed from the constraints of the whodunit, still hew to earlier models: Martin Naparsteck's tale of two men on a late-night train will remind you of Hugh Pentecost's ``Challenge to the Reader,'' Tom Verde's tale of revenge in the tropics of Somerset Maugham's ``The Letter,'' Bill Pronzini's unsettling barroom anecdote of Henry Slesar's ``The Method,'' Celia Fremlin's domestic gusher of Agatha Christie's ``Philomel Cottage.'' Andrew Vachss and the ubiquitous Hoch weigh in with characteristic, though unremarkable, entries; Robert Campbell and David Dean provide the predictable reversals that are this subgenre's stock-in-trade; but besides the Ellin and Oates, only Florence V. Mayberry's haunting encounter between a solitary woman and man reminds you what psychological suspense really is. Especially interesting for editor Hutchings's image of her tenure at EQMM (since 1991), though it doesn't look as if much has changed at the old place.

Pub Date: Dec. 15th, 1993
ISBN: 0-7867-0001-7
Page count: 272pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1993


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