Seduction of the innocent

Max Allan Collins

Book - 2013

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Mystery fiction
[New York] : Hard Case Crime 2013.
Main Author
Max Allan Collins (-)
1st Hard Case Crime ed
Physical Description
269 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Comics fans will recall Dr. Fredric Wertham's sensational Seduction of the Innocent, which alleged a deleterious influence of comic books on young readers. The resulting brouhaha involved Congress and virtually destroyed the comic-book business in the 1950s. Collins has now re-created those circumstances in his roman a clef. This time, though, the controversial author is named Dr. Werner Frederick, and his book is titled Ravage of the Lambs. When a related murder occurs, Jack Starr, vice president of the Starr Syndicate and part-time private investigator, is on a case about which there is nothing comical. The smoothly written, hard-boiled mystery follows Starr as he attempts to determine whodunit, sometimes at his personal peril. Collins, author of the classic graphic novel Road to Perdition (1998), certainly knows his way around the comics world and includes many sly references to it and to pop culture in general as his tale unfolds. In an afterword, he writes about the comics culture of the fifties and identifies the real people who inspired their fictional counterparts. It's all great fun for comics and mystery buffs alike.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Those who like their parody broad will best appreciate Collins's third entry in his history of comic books trilogy (after 2008's Strip for Murder). In 1954, psychiatrist Werner Frederick (the fictional alter ego of Fredric Wertham, author of the original Seduction of the Innocent) launches a crusade against comic books for their supposed glorification of violence and corrupting sexual imagery. In so doing, he rains on the parade of New York City's Starr Syndicate, responsible for such comics as Wonder Guy, Batwing, and Amazonia. Despite efforts to derail Frederick in advance of congressional hearings on the future of comic strips, the threat to the syndicate remains, and leads to a murder that PI Jack Starr, its chief troubleshooter, must sort out. The gathering of suspects at the end for the reveal will please golden age mystery fans, but the total package falls short of Collins's best. New illustrations in the classic EC style by Terry Beatty are a plus. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved