Thursday, May 26, 2016

Blue Glass

Read/Watch 'em in Order #67

With this entry, we get to the next-to-last story in the Rainbow Diamonds serial (published in the July 1931 issue of Black Mask).

I whined about the previous story being a little contrived, but by golly this time Jo Gar is in the center of a very tense and well-told hard-boiled yarn.

"Blue Glass" has Jo Gar back aboard ship, this time leaving Honolulu enroute to San Francisco. With all the corpses left in his wake, he's now at a disadvantage--pretty much everyone knows who he is and that he's in search of the remaining nine Von Loffler diamonds.

Soon, he's getting anonymous phone calls--someone is using phones in unoccupied cabins to prevent tracing the calls. The tipster reveals that a particular woman has the diamonds and will be using the child that accompanies her to sneak the diamonds past Customs.

But what's in it for the tipster? He claims he wants a cut of the reward, but Jo immediately realizes the guy could collect the entire reward by simply reporting the problem himself.

Jo Gar tentatively identifies the man phoning in the tips. But when the island detective makes his next move, he soon finds a pair of hands around his throat, choking the life out of him.

It's no spoiler to tell you Jo Gar survives---the serial isn't over yet. But how he survives makes for a great plot twist. When the dust settles, Jo has five more of the diamonds and a pretty good idea of who has the remaining four, but there's still someone around willing to put bullets into convenient backs.

What happens next? We'll find that out when we look at the final chapter in the serial. We'll do that sometime soon.

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