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James McKimmey's Cornered! is as hardboiled as they come. It has an aura of evil and desperation that lends it a noirish appeal.
After giving incriminating testimony against a gangster in a murder trial, a young woman changes her name, dyes her hair, and runs for her life. She is accepted into a small community and marries, and it looks like she has escaped vengeance, but under the blanketing snow of a midwestern blizzard a tense human storm is brewing. The quiet of the town is disrupted by a deadly shootout, and a desperate killer stalks the woman responsible for putting his brother on death row. As the story progresses, a disparate group of characters converge in a fateful confluence that will change their lives.
Ivanhoes.” Sam looked at her hopefully to see what, exactly, she meant. Whatever it was, he was certain she did not mean what she said. Gloria, he was positive, had not given up believing in Ivanhoes by a long shot… “Okay,” Hugh Stewart said, “it’s fixed.” Billy nodded. “Right. That’s fine, Doc.” He looked at Hugh Stewart, eyes bright and appraising. Hugh Stewart knew he had been accurately categorized by Billy. The attempt on Billy had been so nearly successful that Billy had made up his
nobody in or around Arrow Junction who attended church services with greater regularity than Bob Saywell. But Hugh Stewart was a threat to Bob Saywell’s monopoly on influence. Bob Saywell knew well enough how most folks got to worshiping a doctor once he was established. The idea then was simply to prevent Dr. Hugh Stewart from becoming established. By so doing Bob Saywell not only retained his own power, but proved once again that he could make or break a man in this community, a proof that
even through the storm. He was going over to the Graintown library and check the newspaper files and prove what he was certain about anyway. That newspaper clipping under the canister was about the impending execution of a killer on the West Coast named Tony Fearon. It contained a review of the trial, including mention of a threat Tony Fearon had made when he’d been convicted, a threat that he would make certain the girl who had been the witness against him would be killed before he died. Oh,
was being restored. The roads leading in and out of Graintown were being blocked this minute. Each car was being stopped and checked. Some preliminary searching had been done through the town, but nothing intense yet. “We’ll get him, don’t you worry,” Sheriff-elect Jenkins had said, assuming authority prematurely by twenty-seven days, doing it with a great deal of outer bluff to belie the confused uncertainty and fright he felt inside. The truth was that ever since he’d viewed that body of the
then slipping off the matador pants. She stood, touching her hair, looking at herself in a mirror, wearing only the expensive and brief lingerie Sam had bought her. She was built, Sam thought; she was a lot of things, but one thing she certainly was was built. “This is nice, isn’t it?” he said, smiling. “Yeah,” she said shortly, and disappeared into the bath. He listened to the shower running, then got out the leather flask of Scotch from his bag. He walked into the second section and arranged