The Panic-Stricken-Mitchell Wilson (1946)

Slow building story about a man caught up in murder and drugs. There’s some suspense but the excitement level is low. You have to believe that a veteran hit man would work for only seventy-five dollars to give this any credibility.

Ned Lake gave up engineering in college to take a job as a second mate on a yacht. It sailed around the world taking part in yachting races. Its owner is the rich Mr.Creston and the Captain is Casimir Perry.

Ned lives a full life on board with just about anything he wants from good booze to hookers. After a few years they dock in New York and Creston goes on a business trip. For an unknown reason Perry kicks Ned off the boat and tells him not to come back. Ned takes two sea bags with him.

While wandering around New York he sells some suits to a tailor. At the museum he runs into Alice Reed. She says she met him briefly at a race in Bermuda. He doesn’t remember her. She wants to go aboard the yacht to look it over. He tries to discourage her and not let her know he’s been fired. He finally tells her to meet him there anyway the next day.

The entire time he’s been followed by Sebastion Gabriel. The two meet face to face when Ned returns to the tailor shop to sell more suits. The tailor tells him to get out when he sees a bullet hole in one of the jackets. Ned realizes he grabbed the wrong bag before leaving the boat. Ned struggles with the tailor and Sebastion tells him to get out and he’ll take care of things.

Sebastion tells him disturbing things about Perry and they head for the yacht. Perry is still asleep as Sebastion searches for heroin. He tells Ned that’s what’s in the sugar carton. Later Ned discovers that Perry isn’t sleeping, he’s been knocked out. He also sees a newspaper story about a dead tailor.

To complicate things Alice shows up for her tour. Ned has been told a story about drug running and now he wants Alice off the boat. He whispers in her ear to get the cops. Sebastion is in full control and now an awakened Perry has a big surprise for Ned.

Despite the slow pace this is still a good read and well worth picking up.

About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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