Now this is more like it!
My collection of Collier's magazines is far from complete, but from what I do have, I get the impression that Joe Bowler began painting crime story illustrations for Collier's in 1954 and continued to produce them through 1955. What a difference a year makes!
Compare yesterday's piece from 1954, The Desperate Hours to Monday's and today's pieces from 1955's Invasion of Privacy. While all the pieces are, of course, expertly designed and executed, the Invasion characters are clearly trapped in a genuinely threatening situation - punctuated here by a window-cracking bullet hole.
Somewhere between '54 and '55 Bowler seems to have found his "crime legs".