Friday, May 22, 2015
Review: BORDERLINE by Lawrence Block
From the back of the book:
On the border between El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, five lives are about to collide - with fatal results. You'll meet
MARTY - the professional gambler who rolls the dice on a night with...
MEG - the bored divorcee who seeks excitement and finds...
LILY - the beautiful hitchhiker lured into a live sex show by...
CASSIE - the redhead with her own private agenda...
and WEAVER - the madman, the killer with a straight razor in his pocket, on the run from the police and determined to go down swinging!
The aforementioned diverse band of characters collide in a bloody fury that, while expected, is still satisfying. With a character like Weaver, a true degenerate and dangerous member of society, his life consumed by lust and driven by murderous thoughts, BORDERLINE was always going to end up on the darker side of sleaze pulp. The other characters all have a penchant for the illegal things in life making them easy targets to fall within Weavers cross-hairs.
Readers of this blog and my reviews will know I'm a fan of Orrie Hitt, and BORDERLINE will instantly appeal to others with similar tastes. While the sleaze pulp element is prevalent, it doesn't overshadow the characters, if anything it's a critical component to their make-up.
Each of the separate situations the characters find themselves are as interesting as it is unique to their predicament and what led them to the border in the first place. I found this subtle yet highly effective back-story complimentary to the core plot.
The short stories, I can take or leave; THE BURNING FURY was a quick firecracker of violence while A FIRE A NIGHT told the brief tale of a murder cover-up by arson. THE STAG PARTY GIRL was the longest piece of short fiction (clocking in at 50+ pages) and read like a Mike Hammer story. The murder mystery at a bucks show was good and the characters had depth. A pulp told at a cracking pace.