52 Book Pick up: February update!

I don’t think my reads for February are as interesting as the January ones.  I’ve been reading a lot of crime fiction, which I enjoyed immensely, but it’s not such a varied selection as last month.

Here’s where I’m up to:

7. The Girl With The Long Green Heart by Lawrence Block

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I’ve been trying to get into Lawrence Block, but have yet to really read anything that has completely blown me away.  This was a very good book, though.  Perhaps the best grifter tale I’ve read.

8. The Dame by Richard Stark

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My primary reason for trying to get into Lawrence Block’s writing is that I’m running out of Donald Westlake stuff to read.  This book, written under his Richard Stark pseudonym, is one of the Grofield novels.  It’s a kind of murder mystery and very entertaining.

9. Flashfire by Richard Stark

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The Grofield books are a spin-off from the Parker books, including Flashfire.  This particular one is apparently the basis of the new film Parker, starring Jason Statham.  Whatever the merits of that film,I don’t think I’ve ever read anything with a faster pace as this book.  It really rattles along.

10. Drive by James Sallis

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I’m a huge fan of the Nicolas WInding Refn film adaptation  of Drive, so thought I’d dip into Sallis’ work and read this novella.  Novella is the best way to describe the book as it’s incredibly short.  So what do you get in the book?  Well, much more of Driver’s background, which felt unnecessary and was unwanted.  There’s some post-modern plotting and flowery prose.  It’s actually flowery enough that it felt a million miles away from the cool, hard-boiled stylings of Block and Westlake.  Not really my cup of tea.

11. Swag by Elmore Leonard

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In the past, Leonard’s writing has left me a little cold.  I can’t put my finger on why that is exactly, because the subject matter of his books generally appeals.  I had read his novel Stick, which I liked, but didn’t realise it was a follow-up to Swag.  The premise of Swag is great and this is the best Leonard book I have read to date.

12. Blood On The Mink by Robert Silverberg

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Silverberg is best known for his science fiction.  This forray into crime is interesting and entertaining, however.  Published by Hard Case Crime with an afterword by the author and a couple of short back-ups.

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