cover image The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes

The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes

Lawrence Block. Hard Case Crime, $22.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-78329-249-3

MWA Grand Master Block (The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons) adds a generous dollop of eroticism to this ingeniously plotted study in criminality and corruption. Divorced and retired New York cop Doak Miller has moved to a small Florida town and arranged to work as a semiofficial undercover operator for the local sheriff. Posing as a hit man, he meets the wife of a prosperous businessman who first tries to hire him, then seemingly changes her mind. Soon Miller finds himself caught in a web of illicit romantic—and criminal—relationships. Miller is obsessed with noir fiction, especially the creations of James M. Cain, which Miller knows through the tension-filled, black-and-white versions that he sees on TV. Gradually, Block reveals Miller’s dark history, which at least implicitly provides the reason for his fascination with these films and his compulsion to reenact the self-destructive path of Cain’s doomed protagonists. Noir fans will be pleased that the book contains not a single likable character. (Sept.)