is Lawrence Block's post 9/11 novel and despite its grim inspiration, it's another example of why he writes about New York like no other crime novelist. The death of a young woman, whose body is discovered the night after she picks up a random stranger in a bar, sends ripples through the lives of a disjointed bunch of New Yorkers she never even knew: a dangerous and virtually indiscriminate murderer, a struggling writer who was the last person to be seen with the dead girl but who doesn't remember a thing, a cop facing a total mental collapse and a sexually ambitious art dealer (who stars in some rather perverse and, for Block, unusually graphic sex scenes).
The real joy lies in Block's labyrinthine plotting and connecting the dots between the characters. As always though, the Big Apple is the real star of the show and Block's immense emotional connection with the city shines through his prose. His vivid descriptions of streets and locations at times read like travel guides but they help conjure an engaging and unique atmosphere as oppressive and confining as the city itself often appears. Small Town is not one of Block's best books--try one of the Matthew Scudder novels such as The Devil Knows You're Dead--but as a stand-alone introduction to one of the best spinners of New-York-based crime fiction, it's an excellent starting point and one that all fans of solid American crime-writing should seek out. --Jon Snow
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Erotic, intriguing and thrilling. Block's customary sure-fire plotting, exemplary characterisation and a patent love of the Big Apple translate into a superb read." (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS
"This is a gripping, scary crime thriller set in the shadows of a city reeling from September 11." (BRADFORD TELEGRAPH & ARGUS
"Block displays his first class technique of crime-writing in a thrilling tale set amongst the darkened back streets of the city that never sleeps." (CARDIFF WESTERN MAIL