This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Anti-Social Register
Author: Alfred Hitchcock (Editor)
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Crime Fiction
From the Inside Cover
Once again Alfred Hitchcock, not-so-secret agent of the underworld, has been discovered consorting with known madmen, murderers, ghouls and other unsavory characters. Posing under a cloak of respectability, Hitchcock is clearly seeking to torpedo the Good Life. Although Hitchcock will not admit this sinister charge, the evidence is stacked against him, as witness his: ANTI-SOCIAL REGISTER.
A new and diabolic masterpiece of propaganda from Hitchcock and a handpicked team of talented collaborators totally dedicated to the cause of terrifying the good, the kind, the innocent of the world.
Includes the following 14 stories:
TUNE ME IN—Fletcher Flora
A QUESTION OF ETHICS—James Holding
THE TRAP—Stanley Abbott
A HABIT FOR THE VOYAGE—Robert Edmond Alter
THE EMPTY ROOM—Donald Honig
I’LL GO WITH YOU—Hal Dresner
THE WATCHDOGS OF MOLICOTL—Richard Curtis
THE AFFAIR UPSTAIRS—Helen Nielsen
I’M BETTER THAN YOU—Henry Slesar
A SIMPLE UNCOMPLICATED MURDER—C. B. Gilford
DEAD DRUNK—Arthur Porges
THE LAST AUTOPSY—Bryce Walton
ONE MAN’S FAMILY—Richard Hardwick
YOU CAN TRUST ME—Jack Ritchie
I thoroughly enjoyed this, enough so that I bumped it up a whole star from the previous book. Part of it was that almost all the stories were about bad people doing bad things to other bad people or bad people getting rough justice, usually at the hands of other bad people (again).
In A Habit for the Voyage we follow an assassin who kills without conscience and has survived because he knows the habits of other assassins. Well, that doesn’t save him and at the end we realize the person who killed him was another assassin. It was just glorious to realize that fact.
However, the cream of the crop for me was You Can Trust Me. A tough guy is hired by a small town mobster to recover an employee who has been kidnapped. Turns out it was a ploy by the employee, his wife and someone else. The tough guy kills them all, takes the money and makes it look like they all turned on each other or that circumstances were different than they were. The story ends with him working for the mob boss and the boss states “I can trust you”. It was just deliciously ironic considering the tough guy had killed 3 or 4 of his men, stolen thousands of dollars and was eyeing his connections.
Something about these collections by Hitchcock really resonate with me. He has a real eye for collecting these stories and does an excellent job of making sure only the best get included. When I look forward to a book I know the author/editor is doing something right!