Nine stories of revenge, compassion, love, and loathing in a collection “to be cherished” from an Edgar Award–winning author (Dorothy B. Hughes).
A child is unwittingly introduced to the very meaning of terror. A teenage girl eyes her mother’s lover with curiosity and caution. A nasty rumor poisons the reputation of a guarded neighbor. A schoolteacher’s attempt to reach four bullying students results in a wicked sting. An elderly woman’s patience begins to crack in the most unexpected ways. . . .
In this suspenseful anthology, author Charlotte Armstrong illuminates the mysteries of life in tales told from perspectives ranging from infancy, childhood, and adolescence to adulthood and the deathbed. In each piece, Armstrong demonstrates how the tiniest spark of emotion—a stray whisper or the impression of a stranger—can shed light on the past, define the future, become a catalyst for tragedy, or influence fears that last a lifetime.
Along with Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine First Prize Winner for Best Detective Story “The Enemy”—a story that was made into the 1952 MGM film noir Talk About a Stranger—this gripping anthology also includes “At the Circus,” “The World Turned Upside Down,” “The Enemy,” “Miss Murphy,” “Motto Day,” “The Weight of the World,” “The Conformers,” “How They Met,” and “I See You.”
“I tend to become inarticulate in reviewing Armstrong, largely because the method by which she achieves her magical effect defies critical analysis. You are simply caught up, as you might be by a collaboration of Cornell Woolrich and Shirley Jackson.” —Anthony Boucher, The New York Times