Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Read Lately: Grifter's Game by Lawrence Block

  • I was looking over my stack of unread books the other day after finishing Gun Work. Quite a tall stack due to my overindulgence at the LA Times Festival of Books. I read over all the titles, trying to decide on how to decide what I should read next. After a couple minutes of that, I said, "Screw this. I just need some Lawrence Block." So I pulled Hard Case Crime release number one from the pile, Grifter's Game.

  • The novel starts as con man Joe Marlin finds he has to run out on his most recent con. Things haven't gone as he expected, so he takes off to Atlantic City for a new start. He skips out on a hotel bill, purloins a suitcase, is ready to take some time off when he runs into Mona. They instantly fall for each other which would be perfect if she we're already married. What follows is a tale of crime, lust, and greed.

  • As I suspected, I was not disappointed with the book. It's a fun story, though it is not one of Block's best. The ending in particular takes a strange turn I would not have expected, but it doesn't detract from the story. If you're a fan of Lawrence Block or crime fiction in general, Grifter's Game is not a bad choice.

© 2009 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.
If you're reading this on a site other than Bullet Points, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. The last crime novel I read was a hide-the-razors classic. It was set in Germany just prior to WWII, spacing on the name of the author. The book was part gritty crime novel part historical fiction focusing on the social climate in Nazi Germany. The ending was bleak to say the least.

  2. @ Yeebo - That actually sounds like something both my wife and I would like. Remember a name?