The Hollow Needle by the late Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award recipient George Harmon Coxe is the 10th in his Kent Murdock series of vintage golden age pulp mystery/crime thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of Open Road Media’s Mysterious Press imprint.
This was originally published in 1948 by Knopf, and is set in Boston, starring a photographer who winds up taking a job which entangles him with a mysterious and potentially murderous family. Offered free through February 18th in the US & Canada.
One of Kent’s pictures holds the secret to a wealthy man’s death
No one has seen titan of industry John Caldwell for nine years when he hires Kent Murdock to take his picture. Caldwell is preparing a landmark announcement, and wants Boston’s finest newspaper photographer there to document it. Murdock chafes at the stuffy environment of the Caldwell home—particularly when Caldwell’s heir instructs him to take only one picture. Using an infrared flash, Murdock sneaks a second shot. Less than an hour later, John Caldwell is dead.
Murdock makes a print of his second photo, hoping to find something that explains the strange ways of the Caldwell clan. Before he can examine it, the family’s thugs assault him in the dark room, destroying the picture. The photo is gone, but there’s no stopping Kent Murdock from learning what’s rotten in the Caldwell estate.