A Hint of Hitchcock, Cameron Trost, ed., FEB 2023 LTER

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A Hint of Hitchcock, Cameron Trost, ed., FEB 2023 LTER

maaliskuu 4, 10:42 pm

Disclaimer: An electronic copy of this book was provided in exchange for review by the editor, via Library Thing.

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An even dozen short stories in the style of suspense-master Alfred Hitchcock. Some are direct descendants of works brought to the large screen, others would have been right at home in his television anthology. And a couple are … well, they’re earnest attempts.

Many of the heroines in these tales are conspicuously blonde – which in itself is a nod toward Hitchcock’s preference in choosing his lead actresses. Some are damsels in distress, some are themselves the villainous forces. Most of the male protagonists lean toward the moral dark side, since in Hitchcock’s world, that’s where the drama tended to lie.

Modern writers have an advantage over The Master in their ability to choose denouements in which virtue does not always triumph. Hitchcock spent his career working under strict motion picture and television codes which ruled that “the bad guy” could never escape unscathed, and justice, one way or another, would be done. No such strictures impede these authors, though karma manages to zap a few of the protagonists. Two of the stories also deal with homosexual relationships as key to some of the characters’ actions -- which of course would also have been taboo during the peak of Hitchcock’s success.

This reviewer’s favorite among the stories was "Paranoia", by Paulene Turner, a delightfully twisty tale larded with too may Hitchcockian references to count. Fans of the genre will probably winkle out one or two of the surprises, but Turner manages to keep them coming until the very last.

This is an entertaining volume to dip into, and Hitchcock fans can amuse themselves by trying to identify which stories are meant as homages to which films.