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I'm looking for a book I had in high school (late 80's) but the book was older, probably published in the 60's or 70's. It was an anthology book, with several stories in it that had a sci-fi/fantasy twist to them like Twilight Zone episodes. Unfortunately, the only story I remember in any detail doesn't have any sci-fi elements to it, but hopefully it will help me track it down.

An older man blames his daughter's ex-boyfriend for her suicide, and lures him to a city with the promise of a high-paying job interview. The young man (college-age or a little older) wakes up in a small room, with only a table & a device that dispenses water/food on the wall. IIRC he is chained to the wall and can just barely reach the table (which is where his food/water is deposited by the device on the wall). In his attempts to escape, he accidentally knocks over the table and cannot reach it or the pitcher used to collect water. He keeps thinking to himself that someone will come and save him eventually. At that point, we find that the "room" is really

a converted, soundproof water tank on top of a building which the older man has leased under a false name. Since the man has arranged for the leasing bill to be paid even after his death, there is no reason for anyone to enter the building or check the roof. Thus the younger man will starve to death long before anyone finds him.

The book was in American English, with many of the stories taking place in 50's (or early 60's) era America. I think one story was set in the gangster-era 20's, but I could be wrong. The stories were all very similar in nature to The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits.

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I remember the story you are describing. It's "The Wall-to-Wall Grave", by Andrew Benedict. The anthology is most likely Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories My Mother Never Told Me, (1963).

You can find a review here:

“The Wall-to-Wall Grave” was the story that left me with the strangest feeling. This story is written by Andrew Benedict. It portrays a father who gets even with her daughter’s lover, who had jilted her, which resulted in her suicide. He locked him in a room with a minimal amount of dripping water, and 30 days supply of bread. And then he just leaves him there.

And here's a link to the mass-market edition on Amazon if you're looking for a copy.

  • Yep, that was it. I looked it up on Amazon and recognized the cover once I saw it (I had the 1965 printing that shows Alfred Hitchcock sitting on the Grim Reaper's lap). – Omegacron Jun 17 '15 at 12:52

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