Whitman Chambers. 13 Steps. (1935) 294 pp.
A hanging scheduled at San Quentin prison triggers a series of flashbacks in the mind of Oakland newspaperman Al Herrick, who is there to witness the execution of a former colleague. With each step the condemned man takes up the gallows stairs, Herrick recalls events beginning at a New Yearís eve party at a roadhouse and his meeting Diane Polk, the wife of the man who just took his job away from him. Adultery, fear of scandal, and blackout drunkenness lead to murder. But is the right man being punished for it? Only Al knows that he might be innocent Ö because he isnít sure that he is not the murderer, himself.
Baird & Greenwood 438; Hubin