Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Black-Eyed Stranger

The Black-Eyed Stranger

Charlotte Armstrong

Date: 1951   —   Book

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Fiction, Suspense

Sam Lynch is in a quandry; he has overheard a plot to kidnap (and possibly kill) a young heiress who he's spoken to exactly once, but if he reveals the plot and word gets back, he will certainly die. And the disbelief with which he is faced when he does reveal the plot inspires him to kidnap her first... but even now, if word gets back, he's liable to get shot.

This is an interesting story of someone who isn't a hero trying to figure out how to do the heroic thing for a girl he doesn't love, a man who has finally decided that his silence is untenable. Primarily, it is interesting that Armstrong doesn't do the clichéd thing and have the heroine fall for him, or he for her; in fact, she leaves the tale on an almost unfinished note. It is, instead, a tale of how an impulse can change who a person is, and how a bystander can't stand one more sordid tale.

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