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.
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Truly repulsive content
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.
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.
Disgust, revulsion, nausea.
I think I've said enough.
- Rob Settle