A boy with a cleft lip, raised in a loveless orphanage after his mother killed herself, grew up to become a hard-hearted killer. When Raven got out of the wicked orphanage where he had been continually mistreated, his very low opinion of himself forced him to take a job with a criminal who very soon ordered him to kill someone. Raven did the job and was paid 200 pounds for it, but when he went to spend some of the money, he discovered it was counterfeit and he had to run from the police. He guesses quite accurately that his employer wanted him to be caught for the murder and plans to take revenge on his boss.
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Raven is almost captured by the cops when he is in a plastic surgeon's office to have his cleft lip repaired. He escapes just in the nick of time and bumps into the head detective's girlfriend, Anne, who he decides to kill. Raven fears that she will tell the police where he is but she is able to escape and had no plans to tell the police anything about Raven, who she feels sorry for. A few days later, Anne is held hostage by Raven's former boss and he decides to kill her but bungles the job.
Raven soon realizes that Anne is his only ally in the world and he begins looking for her. He finds her unconscious body in a hotel room and helps her come back to health. When the police surround the area, Raven and Anne run away and while Anne is captured, Raven escapes into the fog. He ultimately goes to his former employer's office and kills him. Raven is then surprised by the police who have followed him there and they shoot and kill Raven.
Best part of story, including ending:
I loved this story! It was written in the 1930s and has all the elements that not only made great action stories and movies in that era, but it's workable today too.
Best scene in story:
I especially liked the scene when Raven hunts for and finds Anne's seemingly lifeless body hidden in the fireplace at the hotel. It was a touching scene that showed showed that Raven could experience love and kindness, even though he had been brought up without either.
Opinion about the main character:
Raven was a pitiful character. He was brutal and insensitive and even heartless. However, he was redeemed at the end by his act of love for Anne.