Do Evil In ReturnBy: Millar, Margaret (female)
Publisher: Dell Publishing Co., Inc. (558)
Place of Publication: New York, NY
Catalog #: Kelley Box 676: PS3563 .I3725 D6 1950
Contributor: T. McElroy
GeneralEra: 1950s Author as on Cover: Margaret Millar Geographic Locale: West Coast; northern California Date of Publication: 1950 | Original Date: 1950 Setting: urban; also rural Oregon Motives: jealousy, blackmail
Charlotte Keating is a doctor to whom a young married woman comes seeking an abortion. Her very abusive husband is not the baby's father. When the girl is found murdered, Charlotte, who feels responsible, becomes a suspect herself. She sets out to learn the circumstances of the pregnancy and the subsequent murder after an encounter with the girl's husband and her low-life step-uncle. Lieutenant Easter of the local police force follows Charlotte's investigation closely, and the complex plot involves Dr. Keating's potential lover, his psychotic wife (who's also one of the doctor's patients), and the fact that Lt. Easter is falling in love with Charlotte.
Dr. Charlotte Keating adult female, brown hair, attractive, cool and competent, physician
Lewis Ballard adult male, middle-aged, long-legged, big ("loose"), successful lawyer
Gwen Ballard adult female, tiny, delicate, fair-haired, psychotic, socialite
Clarence Voss adult male, middle-aged, small, huge ears, Violet's step-uncle and small-time crook
Eddie O'Gorman adult male, face pitted with acne scars, broken nose, ex-fighter turned bartender
Violet O'Gorman adult female, 20 years old, plain, dark hair, long zigzag scar on forehead
Lieutenant Easter adult male, police officer
Level of Violence
the victim drowns and two crooks are shot; the doctor is struck on the head and mugged. Some of the violence is explicit, other parts are less descriptive.
the doctor, a woman, is unmarried, independent and forward-thinking, characteristics that the male characters generally find abrasive. However, this does not play a major part in the plot.
alcohol makes Eddie abusive; Uncle Voss is also a drunk.
the local police in the form of Lieutenant Easter investigate the crime.
abortion is mentioned briefly.
Police/ California/ Murder/ Abortion/ Jealousy/ Blackmail/ Women Physicians
the lawyer experiences guilt for committing adultery, for getting Violet pregnant, and for causing his wife to commit murder. Gwen Ballard exhibits a variety of psychological problems, including depression and paranoia. Both Eddie and Uncle Voss drink excessively.