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The Detective Paperback – April 1, 1986


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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Delta (April 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385294697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385294690
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,510,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Great and exciting read!
Amazon Customer
You think I'm fooling with you, that I'm not telling you the truth?
Steven Daedalus
[The conversations run on too long, I found it boring.
Acute Observer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steven Daedalus on August 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
It has to be one of the "wordiest" books I've ever read. It's filled with the interior monologue of Thorp's detective and ex-cop, Joe Leland. And for Leland, every conversation -- every GLANCE -- is a metaphorical duel of wits. What is the other character thinking, and why, and how can I get around him? No, not a duel of wits but a battlefield in which everyone lies or misrepresents the truth. And it's all described in a blizzard of words.

You think I'm fooling with you, that I'm not telling you the truth? Maybe my judgment is flawed? Is that why your brow suddenly knotted? You just blinked your eyes twice in a row, rapidly. I don't know if you realized that. Or perhaps you did it on purpose to make me think you thought that I thought you were lying. I don't know you at all but it would be like you to do that. I forget what it was that it would be like you to do but, believe me, based on my years of experience as a police officer and now private investigator, it's exactly the thing you would be likely to do, whatever it was. Nothing gets by me.

Here's a quote. Joe Leland is meeting someone in a restaurant for a typically murky conversational exchange. The setting itself is of no consequence.

"The restaurant was nearly empty: a middle-aged couple by a window overlooking the avenue, three businessmen in the most distant corner. The room needed paint and new flooring. By modern standards the tables were too big and the aisles too wide. There were three waiters in sight, and the youngest, a hawk-faced man in his forties with shining slicked-down hair, motioned them to a table in the center section."

Now, that's the description of a restaurant that has no role to play in the story.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia White on January 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a great detective story. It's a little dated now in parts, but the plot is very well constructed, and the story was ground-breaking in its day. When I move and have to box up thousands of books, this is one of the few that I keep accessible. I guess it's out of print, but then buy it used. Thorp wrote a sequel which evolved into Die Hard.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great and exciting read! I recommend it to others! An older but very satisfying read. Gritty and old fashioned. Loved it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the most unusual detective stories that you will ever read. The writer grew up in the Bronx section of New York

City, from what I hear. His father ran a private eye agency. Thorp worked there. So he knows the turf. It shows. The minute details

make up a private investigation differ from some government inquiries. Thorp takes the reader on a tour of how these things

work. Nothing in this book seems fake. As a former print reporter, private eye and police officer myself, I see only true

notes in this story. In this book, the detective listens and sifts for the truth. He studies everyone that he meets on the case. He

shows that the detective's best weapon is his own mind.

The care and the word choices make this book stand out. Thorp worked on his characters. It shows. Like some young writers,

he may become too involved with his characters for some readers. No matter. I enjoyed the detail. You come away from this

book feeling that you know the characters as if they were real people. Some writers can pull this off. Thorp suceeds.

You can pick it up and re-read it, as I have done, over the years. You gain a new experience each time. The characters speak

in a kind of lingo that marks who they are and what they believe it. This book moves. It is exciting. It challenges you. And the

surprises on each page held me. Minor characters are still given their piece to speak and to impress us.

Joe Leland, the hero, is a pained and honest man, struggling through a corrupt landscape. He sees things with a clear eye and

suffers for it. His marriage crumbles in steps that nobody could predict.
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By ShaunSanders on September 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
As a detective fiction, this book may disappoint. The language remains tangled in technicalities throughout, while the plot takes a vacation in lieu of descriptive elements that have little or nothing to do with major characters or story development. Instead, we get a microscopic perspective of every inconsequential object imaginable. There's the old maxim, "show not tell," but Thorp does not seem to have heard it. A criticism of Chandler may be that he "shows" too much--he is all dialog and action, and sometimes his plots evaporate temporarily. Thorp is on the other end of the scale, and to a more extreme degree; being told what to think for hundreds of pages at a time can become tiresome. This is not a book I couldn't put down. It's a book I had trouble picking up.
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