William F. Deeck

PAT McGERR – Pick Your Victim. Doubleday Crime Club, hardcover, 1946. Dell #307, mapback, no date [1949]. Macfadden, paperback, 1970.

PAT McGERR Pick Your Victim

   An unusual mystery in that the murderer is known but the victim is not. Pete Robbins is in the Marines, stationed in the Aleutian Islands. In a package received by one of his friends is a partial clipping from a newspaper stating that Paul Stetson, managing director of SUDS — Society for the Uplift of Domestic Service — had strangled an executive of the company and had confessed to the murder.

   The clipping does not provide the victim’s identity. Robbins, who worked for SUDS before his induction in the service, relates the happenings at the company for his Marine friends so that they can have a lottery on which executive was murdered.

   The potential victims number ten. Each, from the history that Robbins relates, has given Stetson reason to kill him or her, even his best buddy from childhood.

   McGerr has done a fine job portraying the denizens of SUDS, some of whom are competent but all of whom have their own views of and goals for the organization. The characters’ flaws, the internecine battles, and the Washington politics are handled superbly. The mystery is a good one and well worth seeking out.

— From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 10, No. 1, Winter 1988.

NOTE:   This book was previously reviewed on this blog by Marv Lachman. Check out his comments here. My own review of Follow As the Night includes a career perspective of the author, Pat McGerr.