A 1001 MIDNIGHTS Review
by Bill Crider:

PETER RABE – Kill the Boss Good-By. Gold Medal #594, paperback original; 1st printing, August 1956. Reprint edition: Black Lizard, pb, 1988.

   Kill the Boss Good-By is typical of Peter Rabe’ s best work. Fell, boss of the San Pietro rackets, has mysteriously dropped from sight. In his absence, his number two man, Pander, decides to take over and run the show.

PETER RABE Kill the BOss Good-By

   Naturally, Fell returns, but he returns from a place where racket bosses seldom go — a sanatorium where he has been under treatment for manic psychosis.

   The rest of the novel, although it contains the necessary paperback-original action and scenes of sharp, effective violence, is really a psychological study of Fell’s gradual decline into genuine madness.

   As he begins to lose his tenuous hold on reality, becoming more and more confident of success as his mental powers decline, he destroys himself and most of those around him.

   Like many of Rabe’s novels, this one builds to an emotionally shattering climax. Rabe is one writer who always delivers where it matters most — on the last page.

   Notable among Rabe’s other non-series softcover originals are Benny Muscles In (1955), A Shroud for Jesso (1955), Journey into Terror (1957), Mission for Vengeance (1958), Girl in a Big Brass Bed (1965), and Black Mafia (1974).

   Also excellent is his only hardcover, Anatomy of a Killer (1960), a tale of unflagging tension and psychological suspense about a “jinxed” hit man named Sam Jordan.

   Reprinted with permission from 1001 Midnights, edited by Bill Pronzini & Marcia Muller and published by The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, 2007.   Copyright � 1986, 2007 by the Pronzini-Muller Family Trust.