Thirty-five short stories by Edgar-winning novelist Lutz are included here, following a perceptive introduction by Nevins. Reflecting the ingenious plotting and characterizations in Tropical Heat, Nightlines and the author's other full-length adventures, these entries are a bonanza for discriminating listeners.
The first section contains tales of tortuous suspense, notably “High Stakes” about a man forced by thugs onto a six-inch ledge outside a hotel room 12 stories above the pavement. Every second of his vertiginous ordeal, trying to open a locked window, causes palpitations for the listener.
In the second section, Lutz spikes the menace with sophisticated comedy. “Understanding Electricity” is a delicious tale of a customer “overcharged” by a power company and scheming for revenge. He accomplishes this with a power outage and a literal shock. (“Watt now?” the office secretary asks herself as her electric typewriter dies.) Nevins appends a checklist of the author's publications.