Borderline by Lawrence Block
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I finished the ARC of The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons, I hinted that I'd be willing to read any more Lawrence Block books that needed reviewing. Several days later, this arrived in my mailbox.
Borderline: Four drifters wind up in Juarez and find that some borders, once you cross them, cannot be uncrossed...
Borderline is the story of four drifters whose lives intersect once they reach the border towns of El Paso and Juarez. Marty is a gambler.
Meg is a divorcee looking for thrills. Lily is a hitchhiker looking to start a new life. And Weaver is a cold-blooded serial killer.
So yeah, Borderline is bit of dirty good fun, a lot of it taking place in a Juarez cathouse or points nearby. While there's nothing indicating it in the ARC I'm reading from, I suspect it was one of Block's porn books for the 1960's.
For a short book with a lot of sex in it, there's enough crime in it justify including it in the Hard Case line. Weaver supplies most of it but the other characters aren't angels. There's also a fair amount of suspense. I spent most of the book wondering how Weaver's tale was going to intersect with the rest of the cast, near misses upping the tension accordingly.
Like I said, dirty good fun.
The Burning Fury: A lonely lumberjack drinks in bar, trying to control his dark urges. Then a woman shows up...
This was a quick tale. I was pretty sure how it was going to go but it didn't make the ending any less brutal.
A Fire At Night: An arsonist appreciates the fire he started and watches firefighters try to stop it.
Again, another quickie with an ending I was pretty sure about but the ending was still chilling.
Stag Party Girl: A groom to be is getting death threats from an old flame and hires a PI named London to be his bodyguard. But what will happen when someone winds up dead at his bachelor party?
This one turned out to be a pretty good murder mystery. Ed London had to figure out which of the guys at the bachelor party shot the stipper after she popped out of the cake. It seemed Karen got around...
Lawrence Block kicked off the Hard Case Crime series and his entries never disappoint. Four stars, though this might have more smut than some Hard Case readers are comfortable with.
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