They are two brilliant madmen who think
killing is fun. A freak of the law has set them free, and now some hidden killer, acting
as judge, jury, and executioner, threatens.
Ghost-written by Richard
Nevins described this book as head and shoulders above the earlier Corrigans thanks to a stronger situation, plot and characters than the series had seen so far. On a technicality the New York courts release two young psychos who, in the tradition of Leopold and Loeb, killed a young woman to see if they could get away with it. Soon Captain Tim and his pal from the private sector find themselves the killers’ bodyguards, protecting them against the vengeance threatened by the dead girl’s Mafioso father and her football-hero fiancé. Then, in a seemingly impregnable penthouse hideaway, one of the young sociopaths is murdered. The story’s legal aspects are inexpertly handled, the killer’s identity stands out like W.C. Fields’ nose and the murder gimmick is too easily traceable to its source, but this one is a huge advance on the first four in the sextet.
|Nieuwsblad van het Noorden,
"Two simultaneous translations of Ellery Queen thriller" in
New Crime Novels section - by Ab Visser January 21, 1975
Recently, at exactly the same time, two translations of Ellery Queens Which Way to Die appeared. With this book, Ellery Queen struck out in a new direction in 1967. He switched from the traditional puzzle detective to the semi-hard-boiled thriller, in which two heroes operate: Tim Corrigan, a one-eyed New York Homicide Division Chief, and Chuck Bear, a red-headed private detective. Queen has not quite succeeded in finding the hard tone, but it must be admitted that his new detectives are more men of flesh and blood than the somewhat lumbering Inspector Richard Queen and his son Ellery from the earlier stories.
Ellery Queen is, as we know, the pseudonym of two cousins: Frederick Dannay and Manfred B.Lee. Both were born in 1905, but Lee died in 1971. In Which Way to Die, two psychopathic boys commit the near-perfect murder of a gangster's daughter. It is a "dirty" murder and both the thugs are not sure of their lives even in prison. Therefore, having been released, they are isolated by the police in a private house; the surveillance is assigned to Corrigan and Bear. In vain, as will be seen.
Now, as mentioned above, it just so happens (presumably due to the negligence of the literary agent who holds the rights) that Which Way to Die was published on the same day by two Dutch publishers. ...
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