Philip Weck


Philip Weck’s The Rat Game

The sixth story from Justice Amazing Detective Mysteries #3, October 1955:

Story slashpage

The quirky elements of Philip Weck’s “The Rat Game” keep an otherwise mediocre whodunit entertaining. The Rat Game itself is rigged in favor of the carny barker who runs it. But the rubes who play along aren’t the only ones being gouged. As the story opens, it’s the barker who’s left face down in an alley, stabbed in the back with a shiv. He miraculously survives despite his refusal to allow the wound to seal properly, while he repeatedly attempts to solve the mystery of his would-be murderer from the narrow list of suspects—his wife, brother, and best friend.

Weck had success with several dozen stories from 1947 to 1961 published in popular pulps and digests like Manhunt and Trapped. I found his “You Can’t Run Away” from Suspense Magazine (Fall 1951) to be outstanding. Michael L. Cook, in Mystery, Detective, and Espionage Magazines highlights the story in his entry on Suspense. “[Weck]…tells with some power about murder resulting when a G.I. returns home and his girl has married someone else.”