The Girl With the Long Green Heart
Hard Case Crime, November, 2005.
Paperback, 251 pages.
Dorchester's Hard Case Crime line continues to shine: this new imprint features old school mysteries with fantastic old-style pulp crime fiction covers. Bestselling novelist Lawrence Block has written everything from lighthearted mysteries to hard-edged contemporary novels. The Girl With the Long Green Heart was written in 1965 and it is a perfect example of a noir/crime story about a long con. John Hayden and John Rance are a couple of grifters who set up a scheme to relieve obnoxious millionaire Wallace J. Gunderman of some of his millions, with the help of his gorgeous secretary Evvie Stone (the auburn-haired temptress on the alluring new pulp cover by Robert McGinnis).
The con involves a Canadian land scam, and the plan seems simple enough. Which, of course, means that things won't turn out to be so simple -- after all, this is future Grandmaster Larry Block writing. What's most amazing about the story is how well it reads today. Set in the 60s, the characters smoke and drink martinis at lunch, but the psychology and the basic plot are timeless. The story is absorbing, funny and the atmosphere is first-rate. Noir and crime novel fans will be in heaven.
--Claire E. White
The Girl With the Long Green Heart is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the December-January, 2006 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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