Robert Bloch wrote many crime novels as well as science-fiction novels, screenplays, radio and television plays, and hundreds of short stories. Working in the tradition of H. P. Lovecraft, Bloch portrayed characters who are plagued by their psychological imbalances. In addition, he gave new life to the surprise ending. Often readers are shocked or even appalled at the ending with which they are confronted. Unlike many writers in the genre, Bloch did not always let those who are right succeed or even live. In fact, many times those who are good are the ones who die.
The characters Bloch employed are quite ordinary. They are hotel owners, nuns, psychiatrists, and secretaries. The use of seemingly normal people as inhabitants of a less than normal world is part of what made Bloch one of the masters of the psychological novel. His novels do not have vampires jumping out of coffins; instead, they have hotel owners coming out of offices and asking if there is anything you need.