Go Home, Stranger by Charles Williams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a mystery-thriller rather than a noir-thriller and it loses quite a bit of the edge that Charles Williams novels usually have because it sticks to the conventions of the mystery genre. The basic plot is that the protagonist - Pete Reno - needs to solve the mystery to save his sister who's facing the electric chair. So right from the start this story is somewhat tepid because we don't have the urgency of Reno trying to save his own skin. The third-person narration also pushes us a bit farther away from Reno and is another drop in urgency. These are perhaps subtle points, but all you need to do is read Williams' A Touch of Death to feel the difference. Williams wrote such great action sequences so it is hard to dislike this novel even if it does seem one of his weaker ones. You have car chases, boat chases, gun battles, and plenty of lurking about in the bayou. So, better than OK. And it also makes one realize how great his best novels are if this is a weakling.
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