One Fine Piece Of Detective Fiction

9547677A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Hi, my name is Robert Downs, and I’m a member of Lawrence Block Anonymous (LBA for short). I can see why he was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1994. He has the damaged, hard-boiled detective figured out as well as anyone else I’ve ever read, and his prose flows better than eggnog at Christmastime. And it’s easy to keep on guzzling the way his famous PI Matthew Scudder used to swig the hard stuff. A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF indeed. Well, more than, but it’s easy to get carried away when it’s just so darn good.

If it wasn’t for Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deals, I might have waited a bit longer before I delved into Matthew Scudder’s universe, and that would have been a serious travesty, especially considering my love of hard-boiled novels knows no bounds. I’d travel just about anywhere with a hard-boiled gumshoe at my side.

I’d have to agree with the critics that this is one fine piece of detective fiction, even though it would have been easy for Mr. Block to let his guard down and go for the low blow. Matthew Scudder felt as real to me as if he was standing right beside me, telling me his story over a cup of joe with a determined look and a never-back-down attitude.

The ending could have been a bit better, but it worked out just fine for the story, and it wasn’t out of character for Mr. Scudder. And this proves to be a bit of a minor detail in an otherwise gut wrenching story written with near pitch perfect lyrical prose.

I must say this is one fine hard-boiled read, and if you’re into the hard stuff, it’s certainly worthy of a bit more attention.

Leave a Reply