Nothing Personal, by Jason Starr. I owe profuse thanks to
Capt'n Bill for recommending this author. The novel is
bitterly satyrical, suspenseful, brilliantly stylish
(Charles Williams comes to mind, and I don't make the comparison lightly). An author to keep an eye on.
Backflash, by Richard Stark. An effective Parker novel, in
which our hero and cohorts rob a casino boat on the Hudson.
Terrific (and typical) final scene with Parker finishing off
a dangerous loser.
Aside: is it really possible to pick a handcuff lock with a
paper clip, especially when the handcuffs are in one's
Don't Ask, by Donald Westlake. An irresistible caper with
bone. I am now pairing Dortmunder and Parker novels on the
reading list. Dortmunder has to deal with a boat, too, but
there the similarities end. Except that Dortmunder is bent on
exacting revenge for a professional humiliation -- something
that Parker would do if mad enough.
Barking Butterflies, by Evan Hunter. A volume of short
stories published by Five Star (already discussed). I read
this one in one sitting. Taut, precise writing, with Hunter's
usual lucidity and attention to detail. The very first story
in the collection, First Offense, strikes me as a masterpiece
of the genre.
You Could Call It Murder, by Lawrence Block. A hardboiled
P.I. novel from 1961, featuring one Roy Markham. Originally
on Belmont, reissued by Carroll & Graf. At the tender age
of 22 or 23, Block was already in command of the full
arsenal. Parts of this book are dynamite. I note with
pleasure that Block is *not* imitating Chandler.
That's all for this (approximately) bi-weekly report.
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