Mystery writer Edward Hoch’s career has spanned three and a half decades and produced nearly seven hundred stories. His series characters—there are two dozen of them, including Simon Ark, an occult detective who claims to be two millennia old; Ben Snow, a Western drifter and possible reincarnation of Billy the Kid; Nick Velvet, professional thief, who specializes in stealing items of no value; Libby Knowles, ex-cop turned private bodyguard; and Dr. Sam Hawthorne, small-town New England physician and amateur sleuth—are familiar to mystery readers everywhere.
This new collection brings together some of the best of Hoch’s more than two hundred non-series stories. The cast of characters includes Johnny Nocturne, “creator of mood music for the night people”; Emerson, a U.S. government hit man operating in the jungle of post-World War Il Europe; and Harry Gordon, whose wife has an unsettling habit of coming back from the dead.
As editor Francis M. Nevins, Jr. states in his introduction:
"In The Night My Friend you will find a boxing story; a juvenile delinquency story; a prep school reunion story; more than one tale about the aftermath of World War Il…, a fable about a wandering minstrel and his harmonica; and several thrillers with a noir ambience reminiscent of one of the classic TV series of the years when these tales were written, The Fugitive. You will find unusually vivid and visual writing, off-trail settings, complex characterizations, emotions that run deep—in short, a side of Ed Hoch’s literary personality that has escaped most readers’ attention.
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