Keller is a regular guy. He goes to the movies, works on his stamp collection. Call him for jury duty and he serves without complaint. Then every so often he gets a phone call from White Plains that sends him flying off somewhere to kill a perfect stranger. Keller is a pro and very good at what he does. But the jobs have started to go wrong. The realization is slow coming yet, when it arrives, it is irrefutable: Someone out there is trying to hit the hit man. Keller, God help him, has found his way onto somebody else's hit list.
Keller is your basic urban Lonely Guy.He makes a decent wage, lives in a nice apartment.Works the crossword puzzle. Watches a little TV. Until the phone rings and he packs a suitcase, gets on a plane, flies halfway across the country...and kills somebody. It's a living. But is it a life? Keller's not sure. He goes to a shrink, but it doesn't work out the way he planned. He gets a dog, he gets a girlfriend. He gets along.
Keller is friendly. Industrious. A bit lonely, sometimes. If it wasn't for the fact that he kills people for a living, he'd be just your average Joe. The inconvenient wife, the troublesome sports star, the greedy business partner, the vicious dog, he'll take care of them all, quietly and efficiently. If the price is right. Like the rest of us, Keller's starting to worry about his retirement. After all, he's not getting any younger. (His victims, on the other hand, aren't getting any older.) So he contacts his "booking agent," Dot, up in White Plains, and tells her to keep the hits coming. He'll take any job, anywhere. His nest egg needs fattening up. Of course, being less choosy means taking greater risks--and that could buy Keller some big trouble. Then again, in this game, there are plenty of opportunities for some inventive improvisation . . . and a determined self-motivator can make a killing.
The city caught its collective breath when upscale couple Byrne and Susan Hollander were slaughtered in a brutal home invasion. Now, a few days later, the killers themselves have turned up dead behind the locked door of a Brooklyn hellhole -- one apparently slain by his partner in crime who then took his own life. There's something drawing Matthew Scudder to this case that the cops have quickly and eagerly closed: a nagging suspicion that a third man is involved, a cold, diabolical puppet master who manipulates his two accomplices, then cuts their strings when he's done with them. No one but Scudder even suspects he exists. And his worst fear is that the guy is just getting started ...
Bad cop Jerry Broadfield didn't make any friends on the force when he volunteered to squeal to an ambitious d.a. about police corruption. Now he'saccused of murdering a call girl. Matthew Scudder doesn't think Broadfield's a killer, but the cops aren't about to help the unlicensed p.i. prove it -- and they may do a lot worse than just get in his way.
The winner of multiple Edgar, Shamus, and Maltese Falcon Awards, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Lawrence Block has elevated the detective novel to high art-combining grit with intelligence, suspense with stunning emotional complexity and power. And in unlicensed private investigator Matthew Scudder, he has created a character whose depth and stark humanity is unrivalled in contemporary fiction. An ancient brotherhood meets annually in the back room of a swank Manhattan restaurant-a fraternity created in secret to celebrate life by celebrating its dead. But the past three decades have not been kind to the Club of 31. Matthew Scudder-ex-cop, ex-boozer-has known death in all its guises. Which is why he has been asked to investigate a baffling, thirty-year run of suicides and suspiciously random accidents that has thinned the ranks of this very select group of gentlemen. But Scudder has mortality problems of his own. For this is a city that feeds mercilessly on the unsuspecting-and even thepowerful and those who serve them are easy prey. There are too many secrets here-and too many places for a maddeningly patient serial killer to hide . . . and wait . . . and strike.
Classic reprints from: Edith Wharton, Stephen Crane, O. Henry, Irwin Shaw, Jerome Weidman, Damon Runyon, Evan Hunter, Jerrold Mundis, Edgar Allan Poe, Horace Gregory, Geoffrey Bartholomew, Cornell Woolrich, Barry N. Malzberg, Clark Howard, Jerome Charyn, Donald E. Westlake, Joyce Carol Oates, Lawrence Block, Susan Isaacs, and others.Lawrence Block has won most of the major mystery awards and has been called the quintessential New York writer. His series characters--Matthew Scudder, Bernie Rhodenbarr, Evan Tanner, Chip Harrison, and Keller--all live in Manhattan; like their creator, they would not really be happy anywhere else.
It's a jungle out there. Literally. At least for Evan Tanner, eternally sleepless sometime superspy, who finds himself in Africa on the trail of the AWOL ruler of tiny Modonoland. It seems the petty despot's gone missing, and he's taken the state treasury along with him. No stranger to impossible missions and international peril, Tanner's been in over his head before. This time, however, he's in imminent danger of being buried alive. And it all has to do with the CIA, white supremacists, moderate revolutionaries . . . and a blond jungle bombshell named (no joke!) Sheena. Tanner's always been a sucker for a pretty face and a curvaceous body, especially one that's wrapped in leopard skin. But this red hot renegade daughter of a local missionary is a maneater. Which means this time Tanner's goose is well and truly cooked.
New York City Noir: The Five Borough Set collects the five NYC borough installments in our award-winning Akashic Noir Series into a single e-book edition: Brooklyn Noir, edited by Tim McLoughlin, Manhattan Noir, edited by Lawrence Block, Bronx Noir, edited by S.J. Rozan, Queens Noir, edited by Robert Knightly, and Staten Island Noir, edited by Patricia Smith.
He is Jimmie John. She is Betty Dienhardt. In each other they find a chance for love and fulfillment. But they are doomed. For he has embarked on a killing spree that will leave fourteen people dead.
In the era before he created moody private investigator Matthew Scudder, burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, sleepless spy Evan Tanner, and the amiable hit man Keller-and years before his first Edgar Award-a young writer named Lawrence Block submitted a story titled "You Can't Lose" to Manhunt magazine. It was published, and the rest is history. One Night Stands and Lost Weekends is a sterling collection of short crime fiction and suspense novelettes penned between 1958 and 1962 by a budding young master and soon-to-be Grand Master-an essential slice of genre history, and more fun than a high-speed police chase following a bank job gone bad.
This is a city that seduces dreamers . . . then eats their dreams. Matthew Scudder understands the futility of his search for a longtime missing Midwestern innocent who wanted to be an actress in the vast meat-grinder called New York City. But her frantic father heard that Schudder is the best-and now the ex-cop-turned-p.i. is scouring the hell called Hell's Kitchen looking for anything that might resemble a lead. And in this neighborhood of the lost, he's finding love-and death-in the worst possible places.
Evan Tanner can't sleep. Ever. Which gives him plenty of free time to get involved in lots of interesting endeavors in all sorts of exotic locales. Now Tanner's in Thailand with a partially baked plan and a butterfly net, hoping to snare a beautiful missing chanteuse who's metamorphosed into an international jewel thief. Tanner hopes everyone will buy his disguise as a rare butterfly researcher. And everyone does . . . Except the guerilla band holding him captive. They intend to remove his head when the sun rises, so Tanner must put his fate in the hands of a randy Thai youth who will do anything for a woman, even set a suspected spy free. Soon they're running through the jungle together, chased by bandits, soldiers, and yellow fever, and racing headlong into the heart of darkness-and into the flames of war.
The pretty young prostitute is dead. Her alleged murderer-a minister's son-hanged himself in his jail cell. The case is closed. But the dead girl's fatherhas come to Matthew Scudder for answers, sending the unlicensed private investigator in search of terrible truths about a life that was lived and lost in a sordid world of perversion and pleasures.
The author of dozens of acclaimed novels including those in the Scudder and Keller series, Lawrence Block has long been recognized as one of the premier crime writers of our time. Now, the breathtaking skill, power, and versatility of this Grand Master are brilliantly displayed once again in a mesmerizing new thriller set on the streets of the city he knows and loves so well. That was the thing about New York -- if you loved it, if it worked for you, it ruined you for anyplace else in the world. In this dazzlingly constructed novel, Lawrence Block reveals the secret at the heart of the Big Apple. His glorious metropolis is really a small town, filled with men and women from all walks of life whose aspirations, fears, disappointments, and triumphs are interconnected by bonds as unbreakable as they are unseen. Pulsating with the lives of its denizens -- bartenders and hookers, power brokers and politicos, cops and secretaries, editors and dreamers -- the city inspires a passion that is universal yet unique in each of its eight million inhabitants, including: John Blair Creighton, a writer on the verge of a breakthrough; Francis Buckram, a charismatic ex-police commissioner -- and the inside choice for the next mayor -- on the verge of a breakdown; Susan Pomerance, a beautiful, sophisticated folk-art dealer plumbing the depths of her own fierce sexuality; Maury Winters, a defense attorney who prefers murder trials because there's one less witness; Jerry Pankow, an ex-addict who has turned being clean into a living, mopping up after New York's nightlife; And, in the shadows of a city reeling from tragedy, an unlikely killing machine who wages a one-man war against them all. Infused with the raw cadence, stark beauty, and relentless pace of New York City, Small Town is a tour de force Block fans old and new will celebrate.
The bear is on the prowl in many different guises. He may be the master thief stealing into Graceland, an intense young passenger experimenting in terror, or a psychiatrist haunted by his patient's nightmare. Or maybe he's beautiful, lethal woman in a blood-red scarf. So beware of the this huge, dangerous beast. Because first he will enthrall you.. and then he will strike.
The craft of writing is a lot like spinning a web: You take threads and weave them skillfully together, and only you know where this intricate network of twists and turns begin and how it will end. Now, with Lawrence Bloock's expert advice, you can learn this art of entrapping your reader in a maze of facinating fiction. Spider, Spin Me a Web is the perfect companion volume to Block's previous book on writing, Telling Lies for Fun and Profit, which Sue Grafton noted "should be a permanent part of every writer's library." As helpful and supportive as always, Block shares what he's learned over the course of writing over one hundred published books: techniques to help you to write a solid piece of fiction; strategies for getting a reader (or editor) to reaad-and buy-your book; ideas for increasing your creativity and developing an environment that will nourish you and your craft. Spider, Spin Me a Web is a complete guide to achieving your full potential as awriter.
Louis Pinell, the recently apprehended "Icepick Prowler," freely admits to having slain seven young women nine years ago -- but be swears it was a copycat who killed Barbara Ettinger Matthew Scudder believes him. But the trail to Ettinger's true murderer is twisted, dark and dangerous...and even colder than the almost decade-old corpse the p.i. is determined to avenge.
From the revered New York Times bestselling author comes a touching, insightful, and humorous memoir of an unlikely racewalker and world traveler Before Lawrence Block was the author of bestselling novels featuring unforgettable characters such as the hit man Keller, private investigator Matthew Scudder, burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, and time traveler Evan Tanner, he was a walker. As a child, he walked home from school (mostly because he couldn't ride a bike). As a col-lege student, he walked until he was able to buy his first car (a deep blue 1950 Chevrolet coupe named Pamela, after the Samuel Richardson novel). As an adult, he ran marathons until he discovered what would become a lifelong obsession--never mind if some people didn't think it was a real sport--racewalking. By that time Block had already spent plenty of time walking through the city of New York. But racewalking ended up taking him all over the country, from New Orleans to Anchorage, from marathons in the punishing heat to marathons in the pouring rain. And along the way, as he began to pen the books that would make him a household name among suspense fans all over the world, he found that in life, as in writing, you just need to take one step after the other. Through the lens of his adventures while walking--in twenty-four-hour races, on a pilgrimage through Spain, and just about everywhere you can imagine--Lawrence Block shares his heartwarming personal story about life's trials and tribulations, discomforts and successes, which truly lets readers walk a mile in the master of mystery's shoes.
Cold War superspy Evan Tanner lost the ability to sleep on a battlefield in Korea. So where the heck has he been since the '70s? Frozen. Cryogenically. A Tanner-sicle. Which he never thought would happen when he walked into a basement in Union City, New Jersey, more than a quarter century ago. Now he's unthawed and ready to rumble, and his somewhat addled, former super-secret boss, "the Chief," is glad his favorite operative's active again. Tanner awoke to a different world, though some bad things have remained the same . . . or gotten worse. Even before he can fully acclimate himself to this perplexing future, Tanner's off to Burma (which isn't really Burma anymore) to pose as a monk, destabilize the government, dodge a lethal double-cross, and rescue a beautiful prisoner. The world's still full of conspiracy, corruption, greed, political chicanery-and beautiful women. So Tanner's back with a vengeance, with a lot of lost time to make up for.
The Cold War's boiling over. Global tensions are near the breaking point. So what's the perfect assignment for a super-spy who hasn't slept since the Korean conflict? A fun-filled trip to the Montreal World's Fair! The adorable little girl he's escorting-who, under different circumstances, would be sitting on the Lithuanian throne-can hardly contain her excitement, but it isn't all playtime for Evan Tanner. Some mysterious disappearances, apparently linked to the fair's Cuban exhibition, need to be looked into. Keeping his mind on business, however, won't be easy after an insatiable lovely in a tiger skin falls into Tanner's arms, and a mother lode of dangerous drugs falls into his lap. But the biggest, deadliest suprise is the terrorist plot Tanner's tumbling into, and he'll have to think and act quickly to prevent the visiting queen of England from being blown to smithereens.
Sometime spy Evan Tanner has accepted impossible assignments for many reasons: money, thrills, to have something to occupy his waking hours (twenty-four of them every day, in fact, since battlefield shrapnel obliterated his brain's sleep center). But this might be the first time he's put his life on the line . . . for love. Tanner's agreed to smuggle a sexy Latvian gymnast-the lost lady love of a heart-sick friend-out of Russia. With the Cold War at its chilliest and the Iron Curtain slammed shut, this will not be easy, especially since everybody in Eastern Europe, it seems, wants to tag along, including a subversive Slav author and the six-year-old heir to the nonexistent Lithuanian throne. But that's not the biggest hurdle. The gymnast refuses to budge unless Tanner rescues her eleven delightfully limber teammates as well-and that might be raising the bar too lethally high for even the ever-resourceful Evan Tanner to clear.
The CIA, the FBI, the KGB, Interpol-not one of the world's premier intelligence organizations knows quite what to make of Evan Michael Tanner. Is he a spy, a mercenary, a footloose adventurer, or simply a screwball sucker for hopeless causes? (Actually he's a little bit of all of the above. Plus he never sleeps. Ever.) One thing's for sure: Tanner's a true romantic, which is why he can't refuse a distraught mother who begs him to rescue her lost, pure-as-driven-snow daughter. Phaedra Harrow (nee Deborah Horowitz) once shared Tanner's apartment but not his bed. And now the virginal beauty's been abducted by white slavers in the Afghan wilderness. Finding Phaedra will be difficult enough. Bringing her back alive and unmolested may be impossible. And first Tanner will have to swim the English Channel, survive trigger-happy Russian terrorists . . . and maybe pull off a timely assassination or two.
Characters refusing to talk? Plot plodding along? Where do good ideas come from anyway? In this wonderfully practical volume, two-time Edgar Award-winning novelist Lawrence Block takes an inside look at writing as a craft and as a career. From studying the market, to mastering self-discipline and "creative procrastination," through coping with rejections, Telling Lies for Fun & Profit is an invaluable sourcebook of information. It is a must read for anyone serious about writing or understanding how the process works.
Evan Michael Tanner hasn't slept in more than a decade--not since a small piece of battlefield shrapnel invaded his skull and obliterated his brain's sleep center. Still, he's managed to find numerous inventive ways to occupy his waking hours. Tanner is a card-carrying member of hundreds of international organizations, from the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Order to the Flat Earth Society--not because he believes in their myriad lost causes, he's simply a joiner by nature. Besides, it gives him something to do. The Russians think Tanner is a CIA operative on a covert mission. The CIA is certain he's a Soviet agent. Actually, he's in Turkey pursuing a fortune in hidden Armenian gold. But Tanner's up for anything, including a little spycraft, if it helps him reach his big payday. And if need be, he'll even start a small revolution . . .
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