Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Bonus FFB on Wednesday #3: The Kidnaper -- Robert Bloch

Unlike the two previous reviews, this one's all new.

Since this is a 1954 Lion Book, you might figure it would be something along the lines of The Killer Inside Me, a story narrated by a psychopath, a guy who's looking out only for himself and who can justify (to himself) everything he does, no matter how terrible.  If you figure that, you'd be right.

The narrator calls himself Steve Collins, but his real name is Stanley Kolisheck.  He hasn't used that name since he left home at age fifteen:  "I was afraid they'd come after me for beating [my father] up so bad.  Besides, I never liked being called a Polack."  

Steve is tired of working for The Man, and he thinks he needs big money.  He also thinks there's only one way to get it: criminal enterprise.  So he decides to kidnap the daughter of the richest man in town, conning his only friend and the woman who loves him (but  only when he hurts her, he believes) into helping.  He has an absolutely foolproof plan, of so he thinks.  Do things go wrong?  Do you even have to ask?

The Kidnaper (I'm not fond of the spelling) isn't in the ballpark with Jim Thompson's books, but it's close enough to be compelling reading.  It's only 128 pages long, but the print is so tiny that it's daunting to a geezer like me.  You might be able to find a reprint edition if you're interested in checking it out.


George said...

I read TH KIDNAPER decades ago and had a similar reaction to yours. This novel is not in the league with PSYCHO.

Todd Mason said...

! read and thoroughly enjoyed the Tor reprint from the 1980s, which does have very legible type! Thanks, Bill.

Bill Crider said...

I believe the reprint also uses the "kidnapper" spelling that I prefer.