Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The Collector Comes After Payday

The August 1953 issue of Manhunt featured a novella from Kansas native and World War 2 U.S. Army veteran Fletcher Flora (1914-1968) that has been reprinted on its own and as part of The Second Fletcher Flora Mystery Megapack from Wildside Press.

Frankie is a down-and-out loser living in a crappy apartment on Skid Row. He grew up and still lives with an abusive, drunken and bullying father, and the paternal indignities have continued into Frankie’s young adulthood. One evening after the old man humiliates Frankie in a crowded bar, he makes up his mind that dad needs to die.

In the dark and twisted world of Manhunt magazine, killing is the easy part. Getting away with murder is frequently the real challenge. Frankie’s plan to dodge justice is quickly derailed by unforeseen events that he initially regards as a lucky gift from above. When you read enough crime fiction stories, you know that there’s no such thing as a free murder, and the luck of a loser never lasts. There’s always a cost.

“The Collector Comes After Payday” is a nasty cautionary tale that reminded me of the work of David Goodis. The ending wasn’t particularly twisty, but I was never bored as the pages flew by through the novella’s seven short chapters. The story only costs a buck on your Kindle device, and it’s well worth the investment. Recommended.

Buy a copy HERE

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