Monday, September 24, 2018

A Honeymoon Gone Wrong

Deadly HoneymoonDeadly Honeymoon by Lawrence Block
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After being attacked by some underworld thugs, instead of a rolling over and playing the victim, a couple decides to get revenge on their attackers.

This was originally one of Donald Westlake's (aka Richard Stark) ideas, which his friend Lawrence Block asked to use since Westlake didn't think he would ever have the time to get around to it. As Richard Stark, he was busy pumping out volumes in his Parker series. Block took the idea and ran with it. Without realizing it, his course veered somewhat from Westlake's original idea, so by the time he was done, he had completed his own book, one that would not have existed without his personal touch.

The story itself is solid. The execution is decent. Since Block's career spans from the '50s to today, this late '60s book could be called an early work. As such it suffers somewhat. Block's easy, flowing style wouldn't really click into place until the '70s. So Deadly Honeymoon feels a little stiff in places. Generally it's not bad, but for instance, towards the beginning the narrative skips an emotional beat and that threw me off for a while. I needed the closure of a certain reaction from one of the two main characters that I didn't get and didn't set right with me. It took a while for me to get over it and except that it just wasn't going to happen. Eventually though, the thrilling tale that is this book took over and I could enjoy it to its satisfying conclusion.

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