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The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes (Hard Case Crime) Hardcover – September 22, 2015
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MP3 CD Library Binding
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"The premise is classic pulp, so it may surprise you The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes is set in the present day of Web searches and burner phones. There's no one better than Block--steeped in genre tradition, yet as in touch with today as can be--to show the two can work together." -Gerald So, My Life Called So
About the Author
LAWRENCE BLOCK is one of the most acclaimed and highly decorated living mystery writers, having received multiple Edgar, Shamus Awards and Maltese Falcon Awards, as well as lifetime achievement awards in the U.S., UK, and France (including being named a "Grand Master" by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization's highest honor).
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That theme is: Boy meets Girl. Boy decides to kill Girl’s husband to get the money.
This is as hard noir as you can get. The characters in Grifter’s Game were lovable losers who you wanted to root for, but they made choices that took them down destructive paths from which they could not recover. However, the characters in Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes are all unrepentant parasites from the get-go. Everyone is using someone, cheating on someone, or playing an angle to make a cheap score.
One thing I loved about the novel is that the protagonist often watches classic noir movies on TCM. During the course of the book, he reflects on films like Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, among others, and he compares his life to theirs and ruminates on how his fate will play out.
A lot of reviewers have complained about both the high number of sex scenes and their graphic nature. This too is a throwback to early Block who wrote pseudonymous sex novels for nearly 20 years. I will say that a book like this needs a certain amount of luridness, but in this case the sex scenes quickly become counterproductive. The protagonist was having such hot, steamy sex with so many women, I kept wondering why he was taking so many risks for one particular woman who frankly seemed interchangeable with the others.
Block provided a resolution that managed to be surprising because it went against much of the foreshadowing that had come before. This was almost exactly the same technique and ending he used once before in Cinderella Sims (1961), and it was the best ending possible. The final line was classic.
So a new Lawrence Block novel for Hard Case Books should be cause for a celebration. And this one is great. The very recently deceased Glen Orbik produces another great cover. So anyone complaining about the high sex content ( and Amazon has a few) some how never bothered looking at the cover.
The story itself is about Doak Miller recently retired from NYPD and moved to rural Florida. Things pick up when a beautiful girl asks him to murder her husband. The novel features great character writing as we slowly realize exactly who and what Doak is.
Doak is also an old Film Noir Movie Fan and Doak compares his situation to those of protagonists in classic Film Noir movies. This is a nice touch which I loved .
The book takes many nice twists and turns and completely surprises the reader with it's ending.
Now for a little rant when this book first came out it had many negative and neutral reviews. That is because Amazon in its divine wisdom selected many Vine Voice readers to get free copies. And of course many of these people have no knowledge of the genre and don't like either the violence or the sex. I wish Amazon would just let the people who bought the books review them. As more non Vine Voice reviews pour in the ratings have gone steadily up.
This one gets my Highest Recommendation.