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Back in the late 1950s and early '60s, when I was finding myself as a writer and producing a great quantity of books under pen names, some of the books I wrote were as much crime fiction as they were erotica. Indeed, several of those titles by Andrew Shaw and Sheldon Lord have since been republished under my own name by Hard Case Crime and Subterranean Press - and subsequently astonished me by garnering respectful reviews. Borderline, Lucky at Cards, and A Diet of Treacle are examples, and so to a degree is my forthcoming Hard Case title, Sinner Man. A little light editing made them acceptable crime fiction for a contemporary body of listeners.
Four Lives at the Crossroads almost made the cut. After Charles Ardai at Hard Case considered it and ultimately decided against it, I weighed adding it to my Classic Crime Library. A dark, savage tale of an armed robbery gone wrong, it's not a bad fit for the CCL - but the erotic content is high, and the editing required to make it less an erotic novel and more a crime novel seemed disproportionate. The metaphor that occurred to me, I must admit, was that of putting lipstick on a pig.
I did some light editing anyway, much of which consisted of reversing the helpful contributions of some unnamed editor at Nightstand Books. So here's Four Lives at the Crossroads, available for the first time since its initial appearance in 1962. I can but hope you'll enjoy it.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Peterack on 07-02-17
Another Winning Combo of Author and Narrator
If you could sum up Four Lives at the Crossroads in three words, what would they be?
Enjoyable taut thriller.
What other book might you compare Four Lives at the Crossroads to and why?
Really anything by Lawrence Block, especially (since we are discussing audio books here) those read by Theo Holland. The latter has a voice that lends itself to the timeless characters and settings of the author's novels.
Which scene was your favorite?
There is a robbery scene that kept me on the edge of my seat (so to speak - I was driving while listening).
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
"There is no bad person, there is no good person, there just is."
Any additional comments?
Theo Holland is an underused and underrated narrator. It is nice to hear someone as good as he his who is not one of the "usual" ones we listeners are offered. His narration is therefore refreshing, and as stated above totally works for the setting and characters.
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