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Publisher's Summary

As a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master and multiple Edgar Award winner, Block is one of the premier crime writers of the 20th century. He has written over 50 novels, and five different mystery series. A stand-alone mystery, Small Town just so happens to be one of Block’s best yet! Here, he delivers a mesmerizing thriller that wholly embraces New York, the city he knows and loves so well. Characters include a writer on the verge of a breakthrough, a charismatic ex-police commissioner on the verge of a mental collapse, a folk art dealer plumbing the depths of her own ferocious sexuality, and a quirky lawyer who prefers murder trials because there’s one less witness. And in the shadows of a city reeling from the September 11th terrorist attacks, an unlikely mass murderer begins to wage a one-man war against all.
©2003 Lawrence Block (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Rob Settle on 05-14-12

Truly repulsive content

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I found the extensive, detailed, repeated sadomasochistic content to be repulsive and abhorrent. To make matters worse, it had virtually nothing to do with the plot or story line. Each time I came to one of those passages I would skip ahead, only to find another such episode a few minutes later. This was a real shock, since I enjoyed "Hit Man" and "Hit Parade" by the same author. I'm not put off by violence, not even by gory descriptions of blood and guts, but body piercing and elaborate descriptions of sexual sadomasochism were way too much for me. Not even the superb narration by George Guidell could save this experience. If you decide to ignore this warning and buy the book anyhow, I would strongly suggest you listen to it on an empty stomach, and certainly not in your car. You may not be able to pull over quickly enough.

What could Lawrence Block have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Block is exceptionally able to weave a great story. I enjoy his work when he includes only the elements relevant to the story line or to flesh out the principal characters. The gratuitous sadomasochistic sex and body piercing didn't lend anything and I found them a real turn-off.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disgust, revulsion, nausea.

Any additional comments?

I think I've said enough.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By karfol on 08-28-11

Terrible disappointment

Nothing like what I expected. A very, very long and convoluted story with explicit sexual acts between a wealth of (idiotic) people throughout. I made myself finish it because I paid for it and this writer is supposed to be so talented. Leans too heavily on the tragedy of 9/11 and sex, which is an awful way to make money. Anti-climatic ending, though that's probably the only thing that doesn't climax. Save your money. Maybe some of his earlier stuff is better. I gave it 1 star because I like George Guidall, though why he did this I couldn't say.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By F. Shaw on 08-17-13

So close yet so far.

I bought this book based on an article in a newspaper. The article was discussing authors who truly "owned" the cities that they write about. Lawrence Block was the suggested writer for lovers of New York.

Block certainly fulfills this, he captures the almost bi-polar nature of New York in a way that few authors do and George Guidall's performance is excellent.

That, sadly, is where the positives run out. The story is bitty and jumps around without enough connection. The title and the premise suggest that all these stories will be interconnected and, in a way, they are but they don't join up to make one full story.

It lacks the impact that its subject matter should allow it to have. Maybe I'll try another Block novel one day, perhaps this is just one of his lesser works. I don't think it will be any time soon however.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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