The Pequod Review:
Day Keene was the pen name of Gunard Hjertstedt (1904-1969), a prolific pulp fiction novelist for Fawcett Gold Medal in the 1950s and 1960s. Keene's fifth novel, To Kiss or Kill (1951), is a solid thriller involving an ex-boxer (Barney Mandell) who is released from an insane asylum only to find himself accused of a murder he doesn't believe he committed. But he is certifiably crazy (not to mention a drunk) so both Barney and the reader are left to figure out if he actually did it. The book has some good lines and a very strong opening scene, but the story's pacing is inconsistent and much of the novel has the slap-dash feel of a first draft. Keene's later books would improve considerably.