Suspended Sentences - Brian Garfield - ebook

Suspended Sentences ebook

Brian Garfield

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A taut collection of razor-sharp stories of men at society's edge. Although best known as an author of westerns and espionage fiction, Brian Garfield is at heart an observer of human behavior. While traveling, he sometimes writes short fiction, usually setting the story in whatever city or country he just left. The eight stories in this slim volume are fine examples of Garfield's keen eye. Mostly tales of crime and criminals, they star men like Deke Allen, a long-haired building contractor arrested after a rat-shoot for driving with his father's shotgun on the seat. There are women like Vicky, a desperate con artist who engineers one of history's most outlandish scams. But running throughout these suspenseful stories is the sensibility of a writer fascinated by the characters behind the crimes.

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Contents

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Introduction

The Gun Law

Hunting Accident

Two-Way Street

Ends and Means

Scrimshaw

The Chalk Outline

The Shopping List

King’s X

Looking for more suspense?

Cover

Begin Reading

About the Book

A taut collection of razor-sharp stories of men at society’s edge.

Although best known as an author of westerns and espionage fiction, Brian Garfield is at heart an observer of human behavior. While traveling, he sometimes writes short fiction, usually setting the story in whatever city or country he just left.

The eight stories in this slim volume are fine examples of Garfield’s keen eye. Mostly tales of crime and criminals, they star men like Deke Allen, a long-haired building contractor arrested after a rat-shoot for driving with his father’s shotgun on the seat. There are women like Vicky, a desperate con artist who engineers one of history’s most outlandish scams. But running throughout these suspenseful stories is the sensibility of a writer fascinated by the characters behind the crimes.

About the Author

The author of more than seventy books, Brian Garfield (b. 1939) is one of the country’s most prolific writes of thrillers, westerns and other genre fiction. Raised in Arizona, Garfield found success at an early age, publishing his first novel when he was only eighteen. After time in the Army, a few years touring with a jazz band, and a Master’s Degree from the University of Arizona, he settled into writing full time.

Suspended Sentences

Brian Garfield

 

BASTEI ENTERTAINMENT

 

Bastei Entertainment is an imprint of Bastei Lübbe AG

 

Copyright © 2015 by Bastei Lübbe AG, Schanzenstraße 6-20, 51063 Cologne, Germany

 

For the original edition:

Copyright © 2011 by The Mysterious Press, LLC, 58 Warren Street, New York, NY. U.S.A.

 

“Introduction” and all story introductions copyright © 1993 by Brian Garfield.

 

“The Gun Law” copyright © 1977 by Brian Garfield. First appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, June 1977.

 

“Hunting Accident” copyright © 1977 by Brian Garfield. First appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, June 1977.

 

“Two-Way Street” copyright © 1978 by John Ives (pen name of Brian Garfield). First appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, August 1978.

 

“Ends and Means” copyright © 1977 by Brian Garfield. First appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, February 1977

 

“Scrimshaw” copyright © 1979 by Brian Garfield. First appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, December 17, 1979.

 

“The Chalk Outline” copyright © 1981 by Brian Garfield. First appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, May 20, 1981.

 

“The Shopping List” copyright © 1981 by Brian Garfield. First appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, December 20, 1981.

 

“King’s X” copyright © 1987 by Brian Garfield. First appeared in MURDER CALIFORNIA STYLE, edited by Jon L. Breen and John Ball, St. Martin’s, 1987.

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

Cover design by Mumtaz Mustafa

 

E-book production: Jouve Germany GmbH & Co. KG

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-100-4

 

www.bastei-entertainment.com

 

All rights reserved, including without limitation the right to reproduce this e-book or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

INTRODUCTION

Writing introductions to one’s own stories is at best an exercise in awkwardness (if this isn’t self-promotion, what is?) and at least an exercise in redundancy (if a story cannot stand on its own, without explanatory introduction, then isn’t it inadequate?).

So I hope you will forgive my cowardice in trying to steer a course that avoids both the foregoing hazards. In the prefatory notes that accompany each story I’ll abstain from discussion of the story itself and thus try to avoid the temptation to defend or boast. Instead, I’ve tried to address the circumstances that inspired or provoked each story.

Most of these were written during or shortly after trips to the locales in which the stories are set. Most of them were written by hand in notebooks while on airplanes or beaches or in hotels; later at home I would type and revise them.

Short stories are harrowing: for some of us they are precarious and difficult and unforgiving, which may explain why I have written twice as many books as short stories. For this paucity please grant the excuse, if you will, that there are very few markets for short stories and even fewer markets that pay enough.

(Do not ask for a definition of enough. To a writer there is no such thing as enough.)

As to subject matter, my short stories fall mainly into three categories. There are espionage stories, collected in the book CHECKPOINT CHARLIE a few years ago; there are Western stories, anthologized hither and yon but not yet collected in one place; and there are crime-suspense stories, most of which are gathered herein. Some of the tales overlap more than one category because my background is in the American West and so that is where many of the yarns are situated.

I’m grateful to Ed Gorman for suggesting that we compile these stories and for having the nerve to publish this volume.

THE GUN LAW

“The Gun Law” is a narrative reconstruction of an actual incident. The main character was an acquaintance of ours, and we shared the suspense and fears of his arrest and incarceration. The case was decided in court just as is represented here. Occasionally real life does make serviceable fiction.

Deke Allen was arrested Friday afternoon on his way home from his uncle’s house in Yorktown Heights.

He’d had a call that morning from his father. Mostly just to ask how Deke was doing, how was business, how’s that girl what’s-her-name, the one you live with, pretty little thing. So forth. But during the call his father mentioned that Uncle Bill was having a problem with rats in his basement. Deke’s father said, “If you happen to be heading up that way you can drop by and pick up my shotgun. Take it on up to Bill’s and see if you can take care of those rats for him.”

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!