Description:THE EVIL DAYS by BrunoFischer Published by Random House 1973 Front board has 3 small gummarks from former price stickers. Hardback no Dustjacket. Otherwise isclean and undamaged. No. writing , no marks. Spine is tight no loose ormissing pages.
Bruno Fischerâs twenty-fifth,final, and perhaps most ambitious novel was titled The Evil Days(hardback, Random House, 1973; softcover, Ballantine Books, 1976/1993).It was his first novel in fourteen years since the publication of TheGirl Between (Fawcett, 1960). The dustjacket copy attributed thislengthy hiatus due to Fischerâs editorial stints at Macmillanâs CollierBooks (a paperback house) and Arco Publishing Company (a textbookhouse). Lee Server has suggested Fischer "experienced some sort ofwriterâs block" and his writing days were finished. The Evil Daysdustjacket copy also reported on impressive metrics: Fischer had soldten million book copies over his lifetime and seen his work translatedinto a dozen languages. The Evil Days is a gem of a crimenovel -- what a pity it was Fischerâs last. Fischer cited it as one ofhis favorites. His sense of pace, mastery of a multi-layered plot, andeye for detail adapted well to the thriller novel concept popularizedin the 1970s. The Evil Days remains an old-fashioned, fair-playwhodunit that even uses poems and acrostics for its clues. Set in thefictitious New York City suburb of Mount Birch (population 8,000), theprotagonist is Caleb Dawson, 36, an editor at Lakeview Press, "avenerable and respected book publishing house". No doubt, Bruno Fischerdelved into his own career to portray the publishing world. The EvilDays running one week from Tuesday to Tuesday is subdivided intochapters covering that time span.
Sally Dawson, Calebâs wife, finds a pouch of jewels worth aquarter million dollars (1973 value) in a shopping center parking lot.Caleb has a modest job, and they lust for a bigger, better life. Theyconspire to swap the jewels for a settlement from the ownerâs insurancecompany. Things are complicated by Calebâs elected position on theVillage Board of Trustees charged with overseeing the local policedepartment.
A juicy subplot is the cold-blooded murder of Gordon Tripp, acelebrated poet who just had his manuscript rejected by Caleb. At thelast moment, Edward Martaine, the affluent business executive owningLakeview Press, decides to green light the poetry manuscriptâspublication. The decision raises some eyebrows at the publishing house.Caleb protests in vain that the poet had no talent and his volume willlose money.
The jewels actually belong to Edward Martaineâs wife, Norma,who has had her eye on Caleb Dawson. To solve Gordon Trippâs homicide,Caleb focuses on a cryptic St. Valentineâs Day poem left in Trippsâverse collection. Besides a sinuous plot, Bruno Fischer offers us asnapshot of the 1970s New York commuter-suburbs with such details asshadflies, Little League games, and marijuana.
Bruno Fischer didnât disappoint his old pulpster fans -- hestill had a lurid scene or two up his sleeve. Sally Dawson, early inthe novel, vamps naked except for wearing the gaudy jewels. Caleb oglesher as a voyeur from outside their bedroom window.
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