cover image Sinner Man

Sinner Man

Lawrence Block. Hard Case Crime, $9.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-78565-001-7

The first crime novel by MWA Grand Master Block (The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes) returns to print, slightly revised, after being lost for 50 years. It’s as lean and compulsively readable as you’d expect from a writer who made his rent writing paperbacks in the 1950s and ’60s. When insurance salesman Donald Barshter of Danbury, Conn., accidentally kills his wife, he senses the chance to reinvent himself and decides to do so as a mobster. His plan takes him to Buffalo, N.Y., where he encounters new women and crafts a new life—and realizes that playing the part inevitably involves dipping his hands in blood. An entertaining afterword by Block traces his memory of the book and the era and how he eventually located copies released under the title Savage Lover. He followed more than one false trail, when “what turned up in the mailbox was a lesbian novel, one of the handful published in America that I hadn’t written.” For fans of the paperback jungle, an original noir is reborn. (Nov.)