Friday, February 16, 2007

Dave Stevens, I Presume? by Dave Zeltserman

Andy Lenscher has a problem - he looks and sounds just like Dave Stevens who he doesn't know from Adam, and Dave is not a nice guy. He apparently loves 'em, and leaves 'em in just about every city Andy, as a traveling salesman, has to work in. This leads to Andy getting slaps in the face and drinks thrown at him. Then he meets the most beautiful girl of them all and she also believes him to be Dave Stevens, but no slap, no drink in the face, just a look of fear. What gives is the rest of the story.

Andy is drawn to her, (perhaps because of her looks, perhaps because she didn't immediately try to hurt him) but he's also drawn to figuring out what that look of fear was about. A drive to the library and a trip to Topeka brings him more information, but maybe not enough wisdom to keep him from trouble. He meets with this woman later that night, and in a way I can't reveal, Dave Stevens helps Andy - for the first time - to get out of a spot of mess.

This story is suspenseful, the prose is crisp, and Andy quickly becomes a sympathetic character. After all, those of us who have been haunted by evil dopplegangers, love to see them overcome.

You can find this story in the March issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and it is worth the cover price.

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