Monday, April 10, 2006

Just Read: "Transgressions" edited by Ed McBain

"Transgressions" Edited by Ed McBain

Collection of ten novellas and short stories by big name novelists. I read five of the stories. They were authored by Lawrence Block, Jeffery Deaver, Stephen King, Walter Mosley and Donald E. Westlake.

Mosley's story, "Archibald Lawless, Anarchist at Large: Walking the Line" was absolutely outstanding. It features, Felix Orlean, a journalism student in New York who has been disowned by his wealthy lawyer father for his choice of career. Felix answers a job ad for "Scribe" placed by Archibald Lawless in several New York newspapers. A detective story, of sorts, with more than a little mystery about Lawless as well as the plot involving stolen diamonds and international intrigue.

I tried reading Joyce Carol Oates' story, "The Corn Maiden", but it was about the kidnapping of a teenage girl and the storyline was too disturbing to take.

I also gave up on the Ed McBain 87th Precinct story about murdered Muslim taxi cab drivers. I just didn't get interested.

The Stephen King story was okay but not great. Scott Staley, the main character in King's story, skipped work the day the Twin Towers went down. Staley starts freaking out when the personal property and office knick-knacks of his dead colleagues start appearing in his apartment.

I tried reading the Anne Perry story but all I could think about was Perry bashing in the head of her best friend's mother. That, and I was bored with the plot and characters.

Lawrence Block's story featured Keller. Keller travels to Scottsdale to murder a retiree and ends up deciding he needs to retire. Typically good work by Block.

I have read maybe one other Deaver story and cannot recall what it was. "Forever" is about a mathematician turned local cop whose fascination with local crime statistics leads him onto murder cases that were written off as suicides.

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