Small Town

Small Town

by Lawrence Block
3.3 19

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Small Town by Lawrence Block

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061826726
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 464,882
File size: 575 KB

About the Author

Lawrence Block is one of the most widely recognized names in the mystery genre. He has been named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America and is a four-time winner of the prestigious Edgar and Shamus Awards, as well as a recipient of prizes in France, Germany, and Japan. He received the Diamond Dagger from the British Crime Writers' Association—only the third American to be given this award. He is a prolific author, having written more than fifty books and numerous short stories, and is a devoted New Yorker and an enthusiastic global traveler.

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3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*waits for rebel*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Takes off to the Ally
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm sure this must have been Mr. Block's plan, but the simultaneous possession of the mysterious turquoise rabbit, belonging to one of the murder victims, by two of the book's main characters was extremely puzzling, because it introduced the possibility of multiple murders committed by both people. It was certainly provocative, and took the edge off what otherwise might have been an engrossing read. Mr. Block does not, apparently, entertain questions from his readers, thus preventing clarification of this apparent plot hole. As such, I cannot highly recommend this novel, as I have done others in the past.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A huge disappointment. I have read most of Lawrence Blocks books, and enjoyed every one of them. After reading almost half of the book, I found myself not only unsympathetic to the characters, but actually disliking them. And normally I find sex scenes in books titilliting, but the ones in this book made me uncomfortable. Just what could Block have had in mind when he wrote this. DON'T BOTHER!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is completely and utterly bizarre, but there is something about it that made want to keep reading. It is not the best Lawrence Block book I have read, but that is not a particularly easy feat to match in the first place. If you do not have too much of a sense of dignity and you enjoy the chase after the mysterious, disturbed, serial killer, start reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having read most of Lawrence Block's other novels, I was thunderstuck with embarrassment when I received a phone call from the Mother Superior after I suggested that anything by Lawrence Block would be okay to use for the convent's mystery reading club. 'Honest to goodness,' I frantically explained, 'I thought you would pick one of the Burglar Who novels.' But the good sister would hear none of this. And now I'm persona non-grata by the entire nunnery. With ill-concealed restraint, the congregational minister (as they are now called) informed me that Small Town was NOT a novel depicting rural Americans, but one with such sexual explicitness that three of her sisters are back on their respirators, one elderly sister keeps asking questions about body parts she didn't know she had (much less could get pierced) and one of her young novices can never look at a sandwich in the same way again. So now I am blackballed. And as for writers of such language...she would like to meet with you. Something about a bar of soap with your name on it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unbelieveably bad....this writer has no clue about the way women feel or trashy sex scene after another..not one character in the book that one would wish to identify with....sad writing from a man who gave us the Matthew Scudder novels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is ruined by page after page of excruciatingly explicit sex scenes that do nothing to further the plot. Although this author gets good reviews, this book was so bad that I'm not inclined to give him another chance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a case of a good, no great, writer heading up a very wrong road. Larry's gift has been the ability to combine outstanding character development with a well paced, well developed story line. Neither is present in this one. Graphic sex is not a substitute for good writing. I'll buy his next book -- but this one was a waste of my time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having enjoyed at least a dozen other works by Lawrence Block I looked forward to another engrossing book and the title and description sounded interesting. But the sexual situations depicted so distracted me from the plot that I finally abandoned the book to the trash can. Whether the author was going through a personal mid-life crisis or his editor decided things needed to be juicier, I found the scenes to be demeaning to women and boorish. I never felt involved in the story or cared about any of the characters. Can't ruin the ending for you because I passed the hundred page mark and decided life was too short to spend on this trash. This will make me reevaluate buying any of this author's books in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story of a serial killer whose personal connection to the events of 9/11 motivate him is well-written and unique. The reader is often motivated to feel sympathy for the killer, which is another unusual twist. I confess I never did quite understand the villain's reasoning, but it may be secondary to the concept that the fallout from 9/11 would continue in such a devastating and murderous way. I could have done without the sexual hijinks of one character - particularly since at no point in the kinky goings-on (with multiple partners) was there any mention of safe sex. It got to be tiresome after awhile, in any case!
Guest More than 1 year ago
With arresting voice and total command of his narrative, author Lawrence Block gives a dynamite reading to this saga of the city we love to read and hear about - New York. No other place evokes the visions of mystery and excitement that the Big Apple does, and Block does his beloved metropolis proud. A Mystery Writers of America Grand Master and four-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe and Shamus Awards this author well knows how to weave a spellbinder, and he peoples it with characters we expect to find in New York - high class, low class, the dregs, but always fascinating. Of course, there is a writer - John Blair Creighton who believes he's about to really make it. Toss in a former police commissioner with political ambitions, and mix with Susan Pomerance, a gorgeous (aren't they all?) art dealer. Add a dash of one defense attorney whose metier is murder trails, and a now clean addict who's trying to right wrongs. Mix all of these together, and you have one can't-stop-listening-to thriller.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The anger of a serial killer is sometimes outdone by the sexual exploits of some of the other characters in the book. All considered, the story is bound to hold your attention.
harstan More than 1 year ago
New York, New York is a wonderful town even after 9/11 though the locals react differently to the devastation, but for the most part try to get on with life. However, while many still mourn someone responds quite differently to the mass deaths. This unknown assailant may have snapped, but the first victim of his wrath is East Village realtor Marilyn Fairchild. The cops quickly arrest author John Blair Creighton, who was in her home the night she was strangled, but his lawyer, stricken Maury Winters, makes a case for a link to the murders of two prostitutes and their madam. John has an alibi that proves he could not have killed that trio. Alcoholic cleaner Jerry Pankow discovered corpses of the hooker, but soon the police look at him as the possible culprit as the killer blows up three of his customers and bars. As the death toll mounts, the city still reeling from 9/11 cannot cope with the Carpenter, a craftsman who leaves quite a deadly calling card. SMALL TOWN is a powerful suspense thriller in which Lawrence Block takes his audience around the blocks of the five boroughs of New York in a post 9/11 homage to the great international city. The story line is fast-paced as the Carpenter performs his craft while others are pulled inside his sphere whether they choose to be or not. The key characters are all fully developed including the Big Apple that seems as much a protagonist as the cast. Mr. Block provides what might be his best novel to date with this intelligent taut thriller. Harriet Klausner