I've started reading and enjoying Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder series this year and I decided to try this book out, a hard-boiled early one-off by the author which also happens to be the first reprint by the popular Hard Case Crime series. A drifting con man (his name might be David Gavilan, or it might be Joe Marlin) hops from town to town, jumping the bill at fancy hotels. His smooth system gets interrupted in Atlantic City however, when he acquires some stolen luggage from a train station that turns out to be carrying a brick of heroin, as well as a sexy dame that ends up stealing his heart and common sense.
Once again, Block proves to be an awesome writer with a great sense of pacing and momentum! This story moved at such a clip, it was painful having to put it down to get back to doing life stuff. It's best to read this not knowing too much about the plot, and ride the waves of it's great twists right up until the depraved finale!“She knew how much I needed her. And now she was teasing, playing games. I looked at her and watched her turn into a sex symbol in front of my eyes. She did not look sweet and virginal and lovely anymore. I looked at the very simple summer dress and saw breasts and belly and hips. I looked at her eyes and saw lust as naked as my own.”
“She made love with the freshness of an impatient virgin and the ingenuity of a sex-scarred whore.”