Plot or Premise
A collection of ten short stories.
What I Liked
Crash Landing — A great twist story, about a crashed plane and the man who takes charge to get everyone off before the plane slips off the edge of the snow-covered cliff.
Sideshow Champion — A brawling boxer gets the championship fight of his life, but he knows the ones backing the champion are all crooked and will stop at nothing to bring him down. And he knows he has to get out of the limelight to train, so he goes back to the circus as a sideshow boxer to practice for the weeks before the fight.
The Money Punch — Another boxing story about a kid who’s up against the rackets and an ex-trainer who is more than a little crooked. Add in a missing new trainer, and the fact that he needs training — he’s got a great right but his left needs to be developed so he can be a better fighter. Oh, and he wants the girl who owns the fight farm.
Roundup in Texas — A typical western story where cattle rustlers are lowering cattle estimates, and the foreman looks to be a chump who simply over-estimated. Gun battle at the end, and lots of story in a short timeframe.
Under the Hanging Wall — A private-eye story about a man hired to go to a town and find out why his brother would have killed a mine owner. The Sheriff is no help, and there’s a woman who belongs in the big city, not in a bus-stop town along the highway. Set in the early 20th century.
Other stories include: By the Waters of San Tadeo (town bully holds village hostage on island); Meeting at Falmouth (ambushing a traveling gentleman); and Beyond the Great Snow Mountains (woman taken prisoner in Chinese mountains by a tribe).
What I Didn’t Like
Two stories weren’t that great — Coast Patrol (WW II story about a freighter captured by Germans and an Allied pilot) and Gravel Pit (thief gets extorted and wants to kill the extortionist).
The Bottom Line (★★★★☆)
Decent but eclectic bunch of shortstories.