A 1001 MIDNIGHTS Review
by Bill Crider:

  BRUNO FISCHER – So Wicked My Love. Gold Medal #437, paperback original; 1st printing, 1954. Reprinted twice. A shorter version appeared in Manhunt, November 1953, under the title “Coney Island Incident.”

   Ray Whitehead, the narrator of So Wicked My Love, rejected by his fiancée, gives her ring to a redhead he picks up in Coney Island. He goes to the redhead’s hotel room with her, discovers that she has been involved in an armored car-robbery, and watches her stab a man to death.

   All of this happens in the first twenty pages of the story, and the redhead continues to make life miserable for Ray Whitehead.

   She is one of those wonderfully amoral sexpots of paperback-original fiction that are more easily acquired than gotten rid of. Ray does manage to get rid of the $80,000 that he is stuck with (the loot from the robbery), but the girl keeps turning up at the most inopportune times.

   For example, when Ray’s fiancée realizes that she loves him after all, who should turn up but the redhead, of course –wearing the ring. In fact, the girl becomes something of a millstone to Whitehead, involving him in all sorts of difficulties with her past and present criminal associates.

   Though not as tightly plotted as some of Fischer’s other works (it was expanded from a magazine story), So Wicked My Love is typically fast-paced. The main characters, especially Whitehead, in the role of the innocent man drawn into criminal events, are particularly well done.

   Other Fischer paperbacks of interest are Knee-Deep in Death (1956), Murder in the Raw (1957), and Second-Hand Nude (1961).

   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.