REVIEW: Killer, Come Back To Me by Ray Bradbury

Killer, Come Back To Me by Ray Bradbury

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: horror, supernatural mystery, mixed genre, short stories, mob stories, creepy stories

Quick Review: Creepy, suspenseful, and showcasing a vast range, Bradbury’s crime stories should be read, whether you are a Bradbury fan or love crime novels with a horror edge. 

Time travelers…dark carnivals…living automata…and detectives? Honoring the 100th birthday of Ray Bradbury, renowned author of Fahrenheit 451, this new, definitive collection of the master’s less well-known crime fiction, published in a high-grade premium collectible edition, features classic stories and rare gems, a number of which became episodes of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS and THE RAY BRADBURY THEATER, including the tale Bradbury called “one of the best stories in any field that I have ever written.”
Is it murder to destroy a robot if it looks and speaks and thinks and feels like a human being? Can a ventriloquist be incriminated by the testimony of his own dummy? Can a time traveler prevent his younger self from killing the woman they both loved? And can the survivor of a pair of Siamese twins investigate his own brother’s murder? No other writer has ever rivaled the imagination and narrative gifts of Ray Bradbury, and the 20 unforgettable stories in this collection demonstrate this singular writer’s extraordinary range, influence and emotional power. 

KILLER, COME BACK TO ME is a collection of short crime stories written by Ray Bradbury, collected and published in a special edition for his 100th birthday.   

This is one of the many brilliant Hard Case Crime novels published by Titan Books.  Hard Case Crime pulls unpublished or lost crime stories, sometimes from famous authors that you would never have guessed have written in the genre. Check out reviews for screenwriter Donald E. Westlake’s FOREVER AND A DEATH,  and Stephen King’s THE COLORADO KID, as well as Scott Von Doviak’s excellent CHARLESGATE CONFIDENTIAL, and director Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman’s ARE SNAKES NECESSARY?, for more of their published stories.

Bradbury is not the first author you would think of when it comes to crime stories, but he has written quite a few of them, and they span genres from 30’s and 40’s mob stories, to the supernatural, to those involving androids, to the downright creepy and sinister. Most of these stories incorporate at least some sort of horror element.

And most of these stories are genuinely creepy. Bradbury’s straightforward, matter-of-fact tellings of bizarre situations lend them a distinctly unsettling edge. He uses the middle America and white picket fence setting to great effect here, although is equally at home in one or two stories that have more exotic settings – a circus sideshow, a few mob stories, a ventriloquist’s show.  

The range of stories, settings, time periods, characters, and even the feel of the stories themselves – from suspense, to horror, to psychological thriller – makes this a collection that feels fresh every time you turn the page. A few of the stories pair nicely together (or were written as pairs), and the editors have done a fantastic job of arranging the stories into an order that makes a lot of sense when read straight through. However, each of the stories can be easily read on their own for a bite-sized bit of crime fiction.

I devoured this set of short stories, and if you are a fan of Ray Bradbury, or like crime stories that are especially chilling, KILLER, COME BACK TO ME, is definitely one to pick up. 

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