Current Read: The Isle, A New England Gothic Novel by John C. Foster! (Chapter 1+Link)

6217D296-649A-482D-920F-90C367EBBB19

Chapter One

“I need you to bring back a body.”

Bone decided to drive off the end of the pier, but his foot had already slipped from the accelerator to the brake, a betrayal so automatic that the opportunity was missed before he could seize it.

Wind leaned against the hearse, rocking it on its springs as he sat and considered his orders. He considered corpses and the function of the vehicle he drove. He considered the drifting nature of his movements since the accident and slid out of the hearse before the spiral became inescapable, a long man wearing a black raincoat and fresh facial scars.

Dawn was a red rim of anger on the horizon as the storm gathered its strength and the wind tried to rip the door from his grip. Waves detonated against the rocks with loud explosions of white foam, the ocean matching the swirling fury of the storm clouds overhead.

“I need you to bring back a body.” Marching orders. He looked away from the hearse, remembering the last time he had seen such a car, freshly waxed and gleaming in the October sun. This one was dirt-streaked and hunched against November. He thought it more appropriate to its function. The Atlantic beckoned to him, and he touched the change in his pocket, thinking about coins for the ferryman.

“Some sonofabitch is standing out on North Pier,” old Vic said from the window inside the cramped Dock Office. His big-knuckled, arthritic hands were holding a bulky pair of binoculars he had owned since his time in Vietnam, and he adjusted the focus to see better.

“Yep,” the dock boss said from his perch at the rickety metal desk. The white paint was mostly gone and salt air had rusted the legs, but it held his ledger, dock schedule and overstuffed ticket book—he was a demon for writing tickets—and worked “well enough” as he liked to say about anything that didn’t need change. “Bastid asked to charter a boat out to the Isle.”

Vic turned away from the window with its view of fishing boats bobbing at anchor in the small bay. “Ain’t no one fool enough to run ‘im out there,” he said.

The dock boss leaned over and spit a mass of phlegm and tobacco juice into the Folger’s can he kept on the floor for just that purpose.

“Could be I mentioned that, and could be that’s why he’s standin’ over there on North Pier waitin’ on the Isle boat herself.”

Vic returned to looking out the window at the slim, black figure waiting alone. “Well I’ll be. Is that his hearse parked out there?”

The front door banged open just then and two fishermen bundled inside. “Gonna get big weather today,” a bearded fisherman in a thick sweater said as he headed over to the coffee pot and poured dubious-looking sludge into a Styrofoam cup.

“What you looking at?” the other newcomer asked, nicknamed Babyface for the obvious reason.

“Fella wants to charter a boat out to the Isle.”

Babyface and his partner exchanged looks.

“Isle folk are awfully jealous about their waters,” the bearded man said.

“Ain’t no one fool enough to run him out there,” Babyface said.

“If another body repeats that phrase, I believe I will shoot him,” the dock boss said, spitting a wad that rocked the Folger’s can. The bearded fisherman glanced in the can and gave the dock boss a nod of respect before taking a sip of coffee.

“Jesus Christ, this is awful,” he said, frowning at his cup.

“Second pot,” Vic said, and the other man nodded. The dock boss was in the habit of using coffee grounds at least twice to save money.

“Say,” Vic said as Babyface held out a hand for the binoculars. “What’d he want out there?”

The dock boss shrugged. “Didn’t rightly say, but he showed me a badge. A Federal badge no less.”

“FBI, DEA?” the bearded man asked as he put on a new pot of coffee. The dock boss ignored him.

“So you get a man with a Federal badge, which means he’s carryin’ a Federal gun, and he shows up drivin’ a hearse. Ain’t too hard to jump to a certain conclusion,” the dock boss said, not entirely sure what that conclusion was but enjoying the expressions on the faces of the two younger men.

“If Old Jenny gets her teeth into him, this Federal man might be finding himself in the back of that hearse on the return trip, badge or no badge,” Vic said.

“Yep,” the dock boss said.

“Yep,” the bearded man said.

Babyface surrendered the binoculars and echoed the common wisdom. Hell, everybody knew to avoid that stretch of the Atlantic. Boats that didn’t had a habit of not returning to port.

“Yep.”

Link

Printer’s Devil Court—A Ghost Story by Susan Hill, 2014 (Cover + Excerpt + Link)

3FF95645-3C03-41A5-A7A5-2E9D456145B4

Tonight’s Read: A ghost story/novella by the author of The Woman in Black: Susan Hill. It’s only $2.56 right now on Amazon for Kindle. (Link below).

Hill is a writer with some serious chops.

Here’s Part One (Note: the first panel is a letter that ends with the title of a book. The second panel is missing the header The Book—as what follows on the remaining panels is excerpted from Dr Hugh Meredith’s book.):

About the Author

Susan Hill, CBE (1942- ) is the winner of numerous literary prizes including the Somerset Maugham award for her novel I’m the King of the Castle (1971). She is the author of the Simon Serrailler crime/mystery series and numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction. Hill has written two literary/reading memoirs: Howards End is on the Landing, and Jacob’s Room Is Full of Books; and she is well known for her ghost-story novellas and novels: Dolly, The Man In The Picture, The Small Hand, The Man in the Mist, Printer’s Devil Court, Ms DeWinter (a sequel to Dumaurier’s Rebecca), and her most famous book, The Woman in Black—which was made into a 2012 feature film starring Daniel Radcliffe. (A play based on The Woman in Black has been running continuously in London’s West End for more than 20 years.) In 2012, Hill was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her service to literature.

Other Books by Susan Hill

Buy the Book…

Trade Yer Coffin for a Gun…

“That there is a Devil, is a thing doubted by none but such as are under the influences of the Devil.” —Cotton Mather

24D5FF06-8116-406C-AAB6-935880E67915

[ Click here to buy your copy… ]

This One Looks Good!—The Green and the Black, a Newfoundland Horror Novel by William Meikle

B40392E5-C2AE-4545-A9C8-73308E7CD46E

A small group of industrial archaeologists head into the center of Newfoundland, investigating a rumor of a lost prospecting team of Irish miners in the late Nineteenth century.

They find the remains of a mining operation, and a journal and papers detailing the extent of the miners’ activities. But there is something else on the site, something older than the miners, as old as the rock itself.

Soon the archaeologists are coming under assault, from a strange infection that spreads like wildfire through mind and body, one that doctors seem powerless to define let alone control.

The survivors only have one option. They must return to the mine, and face what waits for them, down in the deep dark places, where the green meets the black…

“Just as you think things can’t get any worse in this story, it does. The ending will send chills down your spine. It did mine.”

—Cat After Dark

“William Meikle at his best, delivering strong, deftly-written prose entwined with a highly imaginative and richly-detailed mythological plot. It digs out the most disturbing elements of local folklore and legend and then uses them as a framework for a powerful, atmospheric and slow-burning piece of horror fiction that is often almost unbearably tense.”

—The Sci-Fi and Fantasy

About the Author

William Meikle is a Scottish writer, now living in Canada, with over twenty five novels published in the genre press and over 300 short story credits in thirteen countries. He have books available from a variety of publishers including Dark Regions Press, DarkFuse and Dark Renaissance, and his work has appeared in a number of professional anthologies and magazines. Meikle lives in Newfoundland with whales, bald eagles and icebergs for company and when he’s not writing he drinks beer, plays guitar, and dreams of fortune and glory.

“The House of the Red Candle”—A Murder Mystery by Martin Edwards

337B44E0-947D-432E-8285-65FE1AE19E75

The House of the Red Candle

Martin Edwards

To the end of his days, Charles Dickens forbade all talk about the slaying of Thaddeus Whiteacre. The macabre features of the tragedy—murder by an invisible hand; the stabbing of a bound man in a room both locked and barred; the vanishing without trace of a beautiful young woman—were meat and drink to any imaginative mind. Wilkie Collins reflected more than once that he might have woven a triple-decker novel of sensation from the events of that dreadful night, but he knew that publication was impossible. Dickens would treat any attempt to fabricate fiction from the crime as a betrayal, an act of treachery he could never forgive.

Dickens said it himself: The case must never be solved.

His logic was impeccable; so was his generosity of heart. Even after Dickens’s death, Collins honoured his friend’s wishes and kept the secret safe. But he also kept notes, and enough time has passed to permit the truth to be revealed. Upon the jottings in Collins’s private records is based this account of the murder at the House of the Red Candle.

* * *

A crowded tavern on the corner of a Greenwich alleyway, a stone’s throw from the river. At the bar, voices were raised in argument about a wager on a prizefight and a group of potbellied draymen carolled a bawdy song about a mermaid and a bosun. The air was thick with smoke and the stale stench of beer. Separate from the throng, two men sat at a table in the corner, quenching their thirsts.

The elder, a middle-sized man in his late thirties, rocked back and forth on his stool, his whole being seemingly taut with tension, barely suppressed. His companion, bespectacled and with a bulging forehead, fiddled with his extravagant turquoise shirt pin while stealing glances at his companion. Once or twice he was about to speak, but something in the other’s demeanour caused him to hold his tongue. At length he could contain his curiosity no longer.

‘Tell me one thing, my dear fellow. Why here?’

Charles Dickens swung to face his friend, yet when he spoke, he sounded as cautious as a poker player with a troublesome hand of cards. ‘Is the Rope and Anchor not to your taste, then, Wilkie?’

‘Well, it’s hardly as comfortable as the Cock Tavern. Besides, it’s uncommon enough for our nightly roamings to take us south of the river, and you gave the impression of coming here with a purpose.’ He winced as a couple of drunken slatterns shrieked with mocking laughter. The object of their scorn was a woman with a scarred cheek who crouched anxiously by the door, as if yearning for the arrival of a friendly face. ‘And the company is hardly select! All this way on an evening thick with fog! Frankly, I expected you to have rather more pleasurable company in mind.’

‘My dear Wilkie,’ Dickens said, baring his teeth in a wicked smile. ‘Who is to say that I have not?’

Continue reading

Time for a New Novel! Remember the Robert DeNiro Film Angel Heart? Here’s the 1978 Book That Inspired the Movie!

Where do you search for a guy who was never there to begin with?

AFF676D8-E2B1-4A65-92C8-9D416EDFB6E2

Cover of the original hardback edition (Pinterest).

I’ve been wanting to read this for years. You should join me! I found the very affordable Kindle edition (link below) and decided it’s time. Here’s a sample of the prose and some info on the book and the creepy 1987 film it inspired Starring Mickey Route, Lisa Bonet, and Robert DeNiro (as the Devil)…


Click thumbnails below to enlarge…


Following is a short writeup from toomuchhorrorfiction.com…

Hard-boiled crime writers like Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Raymond Chandler were vastly influential on a whole range of 20th century literature, except, I think, horror fiction. With their post-Hemingway style of terseness and understatement they seem to be the antithesis of horror writing. While these authors got their start in the pulp magazines of the pre-WWII era just like H.P. Lovecraft, it’s only been within the last 10 or 15 years that Lovecraft has been taken seriously by more mainstream academics, literary critics, and taste-makers, while those crime novelists have been lauded for decades.

9F9A14AE-D858-43C3-BCA5-8A9877A31F89

The original hard cover edition from 1978. Finding a copy in good condition is quite rare today (Pinterest).

But I don’t think it was until Falling Angel (Fawcett Popular Library 1982 edition above) that the genres of hardboiled crime and horror met, thanks to author William Hjortsberg. He has said he came up with the idea when in high school, winning an award for a short story whose first lines were “Once upon a time, the devil hired a private detective.” Brilliant.

5DDF726D-1E36-4D25-A86A-0CD8A4D5AB58

The Author William Hjortsberg, 1978.

Set in a wonderfully-depicted New York City 1959, Falling Angel is the story of hard-boozing private detective Harry Angel (“I always buy myself a drink after finding a body. It’s an old family custom”), hired by the mysterious Mr. Cyphre to find the missing ’40s crooner Johnny Favorite, a big band star very much like Sinatra. Horribly injured physically and psychologically while serving as an entertainer in the war, Johnny ends up in a VA hospital, but then disappears one night…

28848232-F4C9-42B7-9679-8E7281778E11

Inside the 1979 UK paperback edition. Artist unknown (toomuchhorrorfiction.com).

Angel tracks down Johnny’s former doctor, who then turns up dead; next Angel speaks to an old band member of Johnny’s, “Toots” Sweet (but of course) who tells him Johnny was mixed up in voodoo and the black arts, can you dig it, and crossed ethnic barriers no one dared cross in the 1940s when he became the lover of a voodoo priestess. Toots ends up dead too. Horribly dead. You get the picture. Angel ends up involved with the priestess’s daughter, Epiphany Proudfoot, a carnally-driven young woman who believes acrobatic sex is how we speak to the voodoo gods. Awesome.

FD5CAB0C-BBC6-4963-93F9-FB7CF482DF36

The 1986 Warner Books paperback edition was a bit more frightening and less “noir” than earlier editions (toomuchhorrorfiction.com).

There’s more; much more. Falling Angel is, in a word, spectacular. It’s inventive while playing by the “rules” of detective fiction; it’s appropriately bloody and violent; its unholy climax in an abandoned subway station is effectively unsettling and graphic.


Click on thumbnails below to enlarge…


Hjortsberg knows his hard-boiled lingo and the New York of the time and makes it all believable. This is no humorous pastiche or parody; it’s a stunning crime novel bled through with visceral horrors of the most personal and, in the end, damning kind.

[Review Source: toomuchhorrorfiction.com/Falling Angel Review


518216AD-7524-4154-B2D4-3B177BA5259D

Chapter 1

IT WAS FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH and yesterday’s snowstorm lingered in the streets like a leftover curse. The slush outside was ankle-deep. Across Seventh Avenue a treadmill parade of lightbulb headlines marched endlessly around Times Tower’s terra cotta façade: … HAWAII IS VOTED INTO UNION AS 50TH STATE: HOUSE GRANTS FINAL APPROVAL, 232 TO 89; EISENHOWER’S SIGNATURE OF BILL ASSURED … Hawaii, sweet land of pineapples and Haleloki; ukeleles strumming, sunshine and surf, grass skirts swaying in the tropical breeze.

I spun my chair around and stared out at Times Square. The Camels spectacular on the Claridge puffed fat steam smoke rings out over the snarling traffic. The dapper gentleman on the sign, mouth frozen in a round O of perpetual surprise, was Broadway’s harbinger of spring. Earlier in the week, teams of scaffold-hung painters transformed the smoker’s dark winter homburg and chesterfield overcoat into seersucker and panama straw; not as poetic as the Capistrano swallows, but it got the message across. My building was built before the turn of the century; a four-story brick pile held together with soot and pigeon dung. An Easter bonnet of billboards flourished on the roof, advertising flights to Miami and various brands of beer. There was a cigar store on the corner, a Pokerino parlor, two hot dog stands, and the Rialto Theatre, mid-block. The entrance was tucked between a peep-show bookshop and a novelty place, show windows stacked with whoopee cushions and plaster dog turds.

My office was two flights up, in a line with Olga’s Electrolysis, Teardrop Imports, Inc., and Ira Kipnis, C.P.A. Eight-inch gold letters gave me the edge over the others: CROSSROADS DETECTIVE AGENCY, a name I bought along with the business from Ernie Cavalero, who took me on as his legman back when I first hit the city during the war.

I was about to go out for coffee when the phone rang. “Mr. Harry Angel?” a distant secretary trilled. “Herman Winesap of McIntosh, Winesap, and Spy calling.”

I grunted something pleasant and she put me on hold.

Herman Winesap’s voice was as slick as the greasy kid stuff hair oil companies like to warn you about. He introduced himself as an attorney. That meant his fees were high. A guy calling himself a lawyer always costs a lot less. Winesap sounded so good I let him do most of the talking.

“The reason I called, Mr. Angel, was to ascertain whether your services were at present available for contract.”

“Would this be for your firm?”

“No. I’m speaking in behalf of one of our clients. Are you available for employment?”

“Depends on the job. You’ll have to give me some details.”

“My client would prefer to discuss them with you in person. He has suggested that you have lunch with him today. One o’clock sharp at the Top of the Six’s.”

“Maybe you’d like to give me the name of this client, or do I just look for some guy wearing a red carnation?”

“Have you a pencil handy? I’ll spell it for you.”

I wrote the name LOUIS CYPHRE on my desk pad and asked how to pronounce it.

Herman Winesap did a swell job, rolling his r’s like a Berlitz instructor. I asked if the client was a foreigner?

“Mr. Cyphre carries a French passport. I am not certain of his exact nationality. Any questions you might have no doubt he’ll be happy to answer at lunch. May I tell him to expect you?”

“I’ll be there, one o’clock sharp.”

Attorney Herman Winesap made some final unctuous remarks before signing off. I hung up and lit one of my Christmas Montecristos in celebration.

Chapter 2

666 FIFTH AVENUE WAS an unhappy marriage of the International Style and our own homegrown tailfin technology. It had gone up two years before between 52nd and 53rd streets: a million square feet of office space sheathed in embossed aluminum panels. It looked like a forty-story cheese grater. There was a waterfall in the lobby, but that didn’t seem to help.

I took an express elevator to the top floor, got a number from the hatcheck girl, and admired the view while the maître d’ gave me the once-over like a government-meat inspector grading a side of beef. His finding Cyphre’s name in the reservation book didn’t exactly make us pals. I followed him back through a polite murmuring of executives to a small table by a window.

Seated there in a custom-made blue pin-stripe suit with a blood-red rosebud in his lapel was a man who might have been anywhere between forty-five and sixty. His hair was black and full, combed straight back on a high forehead, yet his square-cut goatee and pointed moustache were white as ermine. He was tanned and elegant; his eyes a distant, ethereal blue. A tiny, inverted golden star gleamed on his maroon silk necktie. “I’m Harry Angel,” I said, as the maître d’ pulled out my chair. “A lawyer named Winesap said there was something you wanted to speak to me about.”

“I like a man who’s prompt,” he said. “Drink?”

I ordered a double Manhattan, straight up; Cyphre tapped his glass with a manicured finger and said he’d have one more of the same. It was easy to imagine those pampered hands gripping a whip. Nero must have had such hands. And Jack the Ripper. It was the hand of emperors and assassins. Languid, yet lethal, the cruel, tapered fingers perfect instruments of evil.

When the waiter left, Cyphre leaned forward and fixed me with a conspirator’s grin. “I hate to bother with trivialities, but I’d like to see some identification before we get started.”

I got out my wallet and showed him my photostat and honorary chiefs button. “There’s a gun permit and driver’s license in there, too.”

He flipped through the celluloid card holders and when he handed back the wallet his smile was ten degrees whiter. “I prefer to take a man at his word, but my legal advisors insisted upon this formality.”

“It usually pays to play it safe.”

“Why, Mr. Angel, I would have thought you were a gambling man.”

“Only when I have to be.” I listened hard for any trace of an accent, but his voice was like polished metal, smooth and clean, as if it had been buffed with banknotes from the day he was born. “Suppose we get down to business,” I said. “I’m not much good at small talk.”

“Another admirable trait.” Cyphre withdrew a gold and leather cigar case from his inside breast pocket, opened it, and selected a slender, greenish panatela. “Care for a smoke?” I declined the proffered case and watched Cyphre trim the end of his cigar with a silver penknife.

“Do you by any chance remember the name Johnny Favorite?” he asked, warming the panatela’s slim length in the flame of his butane lighter.

I thought it over. “Wasn’t he a crooner with a swing band back before the war?”

“That’s the man. An overnight sensation, as the press agents like to say. Sang with the Spider Simpson orchestra in 1940. Personally, I loathed swing music and can’t recall the titles of his hit recordings; there were several, in any case. He created a near-riot at the Paramount Theatre two years before anyone ever heard of Sinatra. You should remember that, the Paramount’s over in your part of town.”

“Johnny Favorite’s before my time. In 1940, I was just out of high school, a rookie cop in Madison, Wisconsin.”

“From the Midwest? I would have taken you for a native New Yorker.”

“No such animal, at least not above Houston Street.”

“Very true.” Cyphre’s features were shrouded in blue smoke as he puffed his cigar. It smelled like excellent tobacco, and I regretted not taking one when I had the chance. “This is a city of outsiders,” he said. “I’m one myself.”

“Where are you from?” I asked.

“Let us say I’m a traveler.” Cyphre waved away a wreath of cigar smoke, flashing an emerald the Pope himself would have kissed.

“Fine with me. Why did you ask about Johnny Favorite?”

The waiter set our drinks on the table with less intrusion than a passing shadow.

“A pleasant voice, all things considered.” Cyphre raised his glass to eye level in a silent European toast. “As I said, I could never stomach swing music; too loud and jumpy for my taste. But Johnny sounded sweet as a caroler when he wanted to. I took him under my wing when he was first getting started. He was a brash, skinny kid from the Bronx. Mother and father both dead. His real name wasn’t Favorite, it was Jonathan Liebling. He changed it for professional reasons; Liebling wouldn’t have looked nearly as good in lights. Do you know what happened to him?”

I said I had no idea whatsoever.

“He was drafted in January ’43. Because of his professional talents, he was assigned to the Special Entertainment Services Branch and in March he joined a troop show in Tunisia. I’m not certain of the exact details; there was an air raid one afternoon during a performance. The Luftwaffe strafed the bandstand. Most of the troupe was killed. Johnny, through some quirk of fortune, escaped with facial and head injuries. Escaped is the wrong word. He was never the same again. I’m not a medical man, so I can’t be very precise about his condition. Some form of shell shock, I suppose.”

I said I knew something about shell shock myself.

“Really? Were you in the war, Mr. Angel?”

“For a few months right at the start. I was one of the lucky ones.”

“Well, Johnny Favorite was not. He was shipped home, a total vegetable.”

“That’s too bad,” I said, “but where do I fit in? What exactly do you want me to do?”

Cyphre stubbed out his cigar in the ashtray and toyed with the age-yellowed ivory holder. It was carved in the shape of a coiled serpent with the head of a crowing rooster. “Be patient with me, Mr. Angel. I’m getting to the point, however circuitously. I gave Johnny some help at the start of his career. I was never his agent, but I was able to use my influence in his behalf. In recognition of my assistance, which was considerable, we had a contract. Certain collateral was involved. This was to be forfeited in the event of his death. I’m sorry that I can’t be more explicit, but the terms of our agreement specified that the details remain confidential.

“In any event, Johnny’s case was hopeless. He was sent to a veteran’s hospital in New Hampshire and it seemed as if he would spend the remainder of his life in a ward, one of the unfortunate discards of war. But Johnny had friends and money, a good deal of money. Although he was by nature profligate, his earnings for the two years prior to his induction were considerable; more than any one man could squander. Some of this money was invested, with Johnny’s agent having power of attorney.”

“The plot begins to grow complicated,” I said.

“Indeed it does, Mr. Angel.” Cyphre tapped his ivory cigar holder absently against the rim of his empty glass, making the crystal chime like distant bells. “Friends of Johnny’s had him transferred to a private hospital upstate. There was some sort of radical treatment. Typical psychiatric hocus-pocus, I suppose. The end result was the same; Johnny remained a zombie. Only the expenses came out of his pockets instead of the government’s.”

“Do you know the names of these friends?”

“No. I hope you won’t consider me entirely mercenary when I tell you that my continuing interest in Jonathan Liebling concerns only our contractual arrangement. I never saw Johnny again after he went away to war. All that mattered was whether he was alive or dead. Once or twice each year, my attorneys contact the hospital and obtain from them a notarized affidavit stating he is indeed still among the living. This situation remained unchanged until last weekend.”

“What happened then?”

“Something very curious. Johnny’s hospital is outside Poughkeepsie. I was in that vicinity on business and, quite on the spur of the moment, decided to pay my old acquaintance a visit. Perhaps I wanted to see what sixteen years in bed does to a man. At the hospital, I was told visiting hours were on weekday afternoons only. I insisted, and the doctor in charge made an appearance. He informed me that Johnny was undergoing special therapy and could not be disturbed until the following Monday.”

I said: “Sounds like you were getting the runaround.”

“Indeed. There was something about the fellow’s manner I didn’t like.” Cyphre slipped his cigar holder into his vest pocket and folded his hands on the table. “I stayed over in Poughkeepsie until Monday and returned to the hospital, making certain to arrive during visiting hours. I never saw the doctor again, but when I gave Johnny’s name, the girl at the reception desk asked if I was a relative. Naturally, I said no. She said only family members were permitted to visit with the patients.”

“No mention of this the previous time around?”

“Not a word. I grew quite indignant. I’m afraid I made something of a scene. That was a mistake. The receptionist threatened to call the police unless I left immediately.”

“What did you do?”

“I left. What else could I do? It’s a private hospital. I didn’t want any trouble. That’s why I’m engaging your services.”

“You want me to go up there and check it out for you?”

“Exactly.” Cyphre gestured expansively, turning his palms upward like a man showing he has nothing to hide. “First, I need to know if Johnny Favorite is still alive—that’s essential. If he is, I’d like to know where.”

I reached inside my jacket and got out a small leather-bound notebook and a mechanical pencil. “Sounds simple enough. What’s the name and address of the hospital?”

“The Emma Dodd Harvest Memorial Clinic; it’s located east of the city on Pleasant Valley Road.”

I wrote it down and asked the name of the doctor who gave Cyphre the runaround.

“Fowler. I believe the first name was either Albert or Alfred.”

I made a note of it. “Is Favorite registered under his actual name?”

“Yes. Jonathan Liebling.

“That should do it.” I put the notebook back and got to my feet. “How can I get in touch with you?”

“Through my attorney would be best.” Cyphre smoothed his moustache with the tip of his forefinger. “But you’re not leaving? I thought we were having lunch.”

“Hate to miss a free meal, but if I get started right away I can make it up to Poughkeepsie before quitting time.”

“Hospitals don’t keep business hours.”

“The office staff does. Any cover I use depends on it. It’ll cost you money if I wait until Monday. I get fifty dollars a day, plus expenses.”

“Sounds reasonable for a job well done.”

“The job will get done. Satisfaction guaranteed. I’ll give Winesap a call as soon as anything turns up.”

“Perfect. A pleasure meeting you, Mr. Angel.”

The maître d’ was still sneering when I stopped for my overcoat and attaché case on the way out.


Links

76D03AAA-A74A-4756-B4A3-9711F81FE963

To Read the rest of this book, you can grab a copy at the link below! (And remember the Kindle reading app is free for PC, tablet, iOS, and Android.)

Great film review of Angel Heart (Watch the Film’s Trailer at the end of this post.)

Alan Parker’s ‘Angel Heart’ Is Astonishing as Hell

C16B56FC-E9E1-4489-9628-38F91493C40CEFB28753-C0C1-414B-AF6C-B39749844B49

Get the Book

Trailer

From The Phantom Ship by Frederick Marryat, with Art by H. R. Millar, 1896

The Phantom Ship ... Illustrated by H. R. Millar. With an introd