BOOKS: Killer, Come Back to Me: Ray Bradbury

Killer, Come Back to Me

Hard Case Crime continues printing pulp era-style detective stories.

The majority of these stories are new, written by current authors. Arguably, the most famous Hard Case Crime contributor is Stephen King who has written three novels in/for the series: "Joyland," "The Colorado Kid" and "Later."

But other famous authors in the series, include Gore Vidal, Joyce Carol Oates, Erle Stanley Gardner, Mickey Spillane, etc. Some of the works are past, lesser known works by some of the authors. Some of whom, such as Spillane and Vidal, died several years ago.

Add to the list Ray Bradbury.

Bradbury is better known for science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories, including "Fahrenheit 451," "The Martian Chronicles," "The Illustrated Man," "Something Wicked This Way Comes," etc.

But as a young writer, Bradbury often sold short stories to the detective pulps – often thick anthologies filled with numerous stories and illustrations printed on cheap pulp paper. He dabbled in some detective short stories later in life which were published by more glossy magazines such as Playboy and McCall's.

With "Killer, Come Back to Me," Hard Case Crime collects Bradbury's crime stories. Some of his crime stories touch upon some of his more fantastic subjects, such as "Marionettes, Inc.," which is a story of a company that allows people to buy well-crafted facsimiles – automatons, "marionettes" – of themselves; and the chilling "Small Assassin" about parents who believe their newborn infant wants to kill them, etc. 

But most of the stories in "Killer, Come Back to Me" are straight-forward crime tales that match the gruesome situations of the pulps of the 1930s to '50s. 

Hard Case Crime fully embraces the pulp experience. The books are paperbacks. Most feature illustrations inside. All printed on less expensive stock paper though not as cheap as pulp. The price of the Hard Case Crime books are not as inexpensive as the pulps but readers should find plenty to enjoy here whether Bradbury fans, pulp fiction fans or fans of detective stories.

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