Small Town : A Novel by Lawrence Block
A solid craftsman with five bestselling series under his belt as well as numerous standalone mysteries and short-story collections to his credit, Lawrence Block breaks new ground with a resonant, compelling thriller about one man's response to the Twin Towers tragedy--an insane yet totally comprehensible, seemingly unconnected string of serial murders, or, as the killer calls them, "sacrifices" to the city he believes will be reborn out of the ashes of destruction. Block, a New Yorker born and bred, has penned a paean to the Manhattan he knows and loves, and created a cast of fascinating characters whose lives are touched by the killings. Among the most interesting are a woman whose sexual obsessions ensnare a former police commissioner who's being groomed for higher political office, a crime novelist uncertain about his own culpability in the so-called Carpenter Killings, and a gay housecleaner whose clients keep ending up dead. This may be Block's best novel to date--it's certainly his most erotic and astonishing one, and it will keep you going until the last extraordinary page. A mesmerizing take on New York after 9/11, this solidly paced, brilliantly executed thriller deserves all the attention it will surely receive. --Jane Adams
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Homage, July 28, 2003
First, we have to understand that this is author Block's homage to his favorite place in the world, New York City, and the story here concerns the lives of a multitude of people following the 9/11 terror attack. The title comes from Block's premise that even New York can be a "small town" in some respects, and even though that stretches our imagination, he manages to do a very good job of weaving all these individual stories into a coherent novel. The point of the novel, the one thing that really keeps us moving forward through the story, wanting more, is that someone is killing people apparently at random, at an ever-increasing pace, and the people whose lives are directly affected by the killings are connected in a "small-town" way. Those affected most are eating at the same restaurants, visting the same art galleries, waving at old friends, talking to the same people, and even-amazingly-having sexual relations with the same people. There are some odd points of view at work here, but Block is a master at putting them all together so they work, and he is an experienced story-teller whose skills are revealed here. This is a very good, moving and fast-paced story whose multiple characters are all interesting. Even if New York isn't your favorite city, this novel almost makes you wish you could be having dinner there with some friends, including some of the characters in this story. You need to read this one.