By Robert Bloch
Hard Case Crime
(As promised, this week I’m reviewing the “other” side of the new Hard Case Crime double flip book. For my comments on Side A, see my preview entry below.)
Eddie Haines is a small time dreamer from
Just as he is about to commit suicide, someone slips a hundred dollar bill under his door. The owner of that C note is a small, fat and bald little German fellow calling himself the Professor. At first Haines thinks the odd fellow his lucky angel because the Professor has come to recruit him with the promise of immense fame, glory and riches. It is temptation the dejected young man cannot possible resist.
He soon learns that his mentor is a sophisticated confidence man with an amazing intellect; all of which is put to use robbing the wealthy. A polished manipulator with a silver tongue, the Professor convinces Haines that their activities are no more immoral than toothpaste commercials on television. If the rich are so gullible as to part with their money on any brightly packaged gimmick, then why shouldn’t they partake in the harvest?
The Professor sets about creating a fictional persona for Haines, turning into a psychological guru named Judson Roberts. The idea is for Haines/Roberts, to become an indispensable crutch to the varied
SPIDERWEB is an intense, taut thriller that completely engrossed me from the first page. It is clearly one of Block’s finest works and a real joy to read. Combined with SHOOTING STAR, this double-book package is a real treasure for any fan of crime fiction.