Yes, even in the 1950’s there was some great psychological thrillers and The Pigskin Bag by Bruno Fisher is by far his best work that I have read so far. The book has a nice plot device of a pigskin bag that everyone seems to want yet you don’t know what’s in there until the end of the story, making it even more mysterious.
The plot of this story revolves about Adam Breen, who has come into possesion of a pigskin bag that his wife picked up after a man who was murdered. After Esther, Breen’s, Adam’s wife, has explained the reasons that the bag has come into her possesion, he goes into the garage to look at the bag.
From there, there are men who want the bag, but Breen refuses to give it up, even when he is offered as much as $500 for the bag. Not knowing what is inside the bag because it has a lock on it, Breen had kept the bag in the trunk of his car, determined to have the police come and get it.
The story moves along nicely with a ton of suspence as Breen is kidnapped, only to find out later when he escapes that the bag had disappeared. This only leads to more suspicions that he has the bag and Breen finds that his wife and daughter are being threatened by these men unless he gives up the bag which he doesn’t have.
In the meantime, the police believe that Breen isn’t telling the truth about the bag as well so he feels that the only way he’ll find out what’s in the bag is to hunt down the men who are threatening his family. His accomplice, who he thinks is a reporter, joins him in his investigation, leaving his wife and daugher wondering where he is.
Fisher, like another author from this era named Gil Brewer, creates characters that are not likeable, including Adam Breen. Here he is running off without an explanation to his family about his disappearence, being with a mysterious woman who is very attractive, making the reader wonder how this will come out at the end.
The plot also leads to some mysterious murders and I really had no idea who the murderer was until the end of the story. The biggest surprise was what was in the pigskin bag as well.
Fischer has created women that have been great feme fatale type characters in books like The Lady Kills, Fools Walk In, The Fast Buck, and one of my favorites, So Wicked My Love. I would say that Molly Crane ranks up there with the women who he has featured in the other books.
This is Bruno Fischer at his best. It is a great book with suspence that is riveting and a great psychological thriller filled with mystery that makes me wish that I can give this book more than five stars. Hopefully, this book will be available on Prologue Books at some point.