Don’t be deceived by the cool retro cover art (courtesy of Glen Orbik), this is not a reprint. It’s a brand new novel by the Grand Master himself, Lawrence Block. It’s as dark and hard-boiled as they come, but what else would one expect from the publisher Hard Case Crime.
I’d hoped to avoid using the phrase “I couldn’t put it down…” but I can’t and I couldn’t. That is, I couldn’t put it down, and I’m betting neither will you. I read it straight through, from its opening line (“The phone woke him from a dream.”) to the ironic last three words.
In a nutshell, the story involves a ex-NYPD cop who has relocated to a small town in Florida, where he works as a private eye. Not a lot of exciting job ops from the local sheriff, but plenty of time to nurture his fantasy of meeting the girl of his dreams. And then one day he’s hired to pose as a hitman and meets a dame who wants hubby dead. It’s a simple set-up that yields some unexpected and downright devious twists. So you’re hooked from the start, and when the tale turns creepy & nasty at the midway point… well, you won’t be sitting still.
Block is at the top of his game here. He is a master plotter and his dialogue is authentic — sharp, smart, and wry. And did I mention there’s a lot of sex in this novel? There’s a helluva lot of sex in this novel!
Since I’ve already dropped one cliché, I might as well end with another. THE GIRL WITH THE DEEP BLUE EYES is killer.
So go ahead, shoot me.