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Catch and Release

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Overview

The Master Returns--With Never-Before-Collected Tales of Murder and Desire

One of the most highly acclaimed novelists in the crime genre, Lawrence Block is also a master of the short story, with award-winning work ranging from the macabre to the slyly comic, from heart-stopping tales of revenge to memorable explorations of lust and greed, all told in Block's unforgettable style. The sixteen stories (and one stage play!) collected here feature appearances by some of Block s most ...

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Catch and Release

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Overview

The Master Returns--With Never-Before-Collected Tales of Murder and Desire

One of the most highly acclaimed novelists in the crime genre, Lawrence Block is also a master of the short story, with award-winning work ranging from the macabre to the slyly comic, from heart-stopping tales of revenge to memorable explorations of lust and greed, all told in Block's unforgettable style. The sixteen stories (and one stage play!) collected here feature appearances by some of Block s most famous characters, including gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr and alcoholic private detective Matt Scudder, as well as glimpses into the minds of a rogue's gallery of frightening killers, dangerous sociopaths, crooked cops, and lost souls whose only chance to find themselves may be on the wrong side of a gun.

You'll meet a compulsive hoarder whose towering piles of trash and treasures hide disturbing secrets...a beautiful young tennis star with a rather too possessive secret admirer...a dealer in stolen art who is unwilling to part with his most prized possession at any price...poker players with agendas that have nothing to do with the cards in their hands...and a catch-and-release fisherman whose preferred catch walks on two legs.

Terror and passion, cruelty and vindication--it's all here, in a collection that will thrill you, scare you, and remind you why Lawrence Block is still the best there is at what he does.

This is the book that led Publishers Weekly's reviewer to enthuse, "If Block were a serial killer instead of one of the best storytellers of our time, we'd be in real trouble."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Crime writer Lawrence Block, who turns 75 this year, is beyond a legend and practically a force of nature at this point in his career. You might expect this collection of relatively new material to come in on the nostalgic side, to be attenuated due to the master’s age, to present as a lagniappe to a successful career. Instead, Block’s latest collection will scare the hell out of you, turn your perception inside out, and generally provide the same thrill ride of expert characterization and twisted expectation as the best of Block has always done.The collection’s strongest entry, the insidiously creepy “A Vision in White,” lulls us with a neat précis of the mentality of the common straight man watching women’s tennis, trying to appreciate the sport while mentally dealing in a semireasonable fashion with the titillation of exposed legs, curving torsos, and very short dresses. And as reason slowly crumbles in the narrator, down we go with him into a sinkhole of depravity. When realization sinks into our bones (and other nether regions) that “somewhere inside I am this guy,” we must shudder at how easily we were led astray. In the title story, we meet a serial killer who has adopted the Zen-like fisherman’s wisdom of Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton’s The Compleat Angler. Except, that is, when he doesn’t particularly feel like it. Until the final sentence, we wonder, as he does, whether the present catch will be a “keeper.” And in a strong pair of longer tales dealing with the themes of greed and lust, a priest, a doctor, a soldier, and a policeman, all archetypically gritty and authentic old men who play poker together, share anecdotes of depravity, perversion, heroism gutted by hubris, and evil punished by receiving its long-sought reward. Fans will be glad to see the appearance of Matthew Scudder, Block’s AA-attending, world-weary series PI from A Drop of the Hard Stuff (2011) and many others, in two stories. The collection is packed with Block’s boundless selection of societal miscreants, sociopaths, anger-management dropouts, stone cold killers, and seemingly normal people who discover a particular scab on their psyches they can’t or won’t stop picking. Like the protagonist of “Catch and Release,” Block’s fishing tactics are honed to perfection. Bait the hook with an air of normalcy. Lull the reader with the sense that this one will be easy takings. Make the bait wriggle with a telling detail or two. The strike. The yank. The set. And there we are, on the hook of a Block tale once again. If Block were a serial killer instead of one of the best storytellers of our time, we’d be in real trouble. Instead, we are in for the tremor of dreadful delight in that moment of frisson and identification that great crime writing provides: the knowledge that, given slightly different circumstances, we might easily be one of these desperados of existence. Or, even more frightening, that our own lives might be as depraved in their own way as one of Block’s portraits of diverting degeneracy, and we might be glimpsing a darkness dug into our own hearts. Tony Daniel, an editor at Baen Books, is the author of Metaplanetary and six other science fiction novels.
From the Publisher
Starred review. "Block's short stories are intelligent and respectful of the reader yet often take an unexpected turn. He plays fair. If you reread the story, you'll find that he left you little clues about the final destination but didn't connect the dots. Block is a master of the long-form mystery, and this collection proves he's got the short form locked down as well." - Booklist
Booklist - Wes Lukowsky
Among a roomful of awards, Block was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America *Starred. in 1994. Block’s short stories are intelligent and respectful of the reader yet often take an unexpected turn. He plays fair. If you reread the story, you’ll find that he left you little clues about the final destination but didn’t connect the dots. Block is a master of the long-form mystery, and this collection proves he’s got the short form locked down as well.
Publishers Weekly - Tony Daniel
Lawrence Block is beyond a legend and practically a force of nature...If Block were a serial killer instead of one of the best storytellers of our time, we’d be in real trouble. Instead, we are in for the tremor of dreadful delight...that great crime writing provides: the knowledge that we might easily be one of these desperados of existence. Or, even more frightening, that our own lives might be as depraved in their own way as one of Block’s portraits of diverting degeneracy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781492811787
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 9/25/2013
  • Pages: 294
  • Sales rank: 523,913
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence Block, proclaimed a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, has been writing award-winning mystery and suspense fiction for half a century. His most recent novels are Hit Me, featuring Keller, and A Drop of the Hard Stuff, featuring Matthew Scudder, who will be played by Liam Neeson in the forthcoming film, A Walk Among the Tombstones. Several of his other books have been filmed, although not terribly well. He's well known for his books for writers, including the classic Telling Lies for Fun & Profit, and The Liar's Bible. In addition to prose works, he has written episodic television (Tilt!) and the Wong Kar-wai film, My Blueberry Nights. He is a modest and humble fellow, although you would never guess as much from this biographical note.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    Who Writes These Intro's?!

    Man, whoever writes these intro's need some help. The only thing that caught my attention was when it said that other people liked it. Sad, isn't it? I honestly don't think it's worth my time. Sorry.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

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    Posted October 2, 2011

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