Synopses & Reviews
Con man Joe Marlin was used to scoring easy cash off beautiful women. But that was before he met Mona Brassard and found himself facing the most dangerous con of his career, one that will leave him either a killer or a corpse.
Grifter's Game was originally published as Mona by Gold Medal in 1961. This is the book's first publication under the author's intended title.
"[T]he narrative is layered with detail, the action is handled with Block's distinctive clarity of style, and the ending is a stunning tour de force." Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"A taut little noir gem...delightfully twisted." Chicago Sun-Times
"[A] lost masterpiece." Playboy
"[The] one writer of mystery and detective fiction who comes close to replacing the irreplaceable John D. MacDonald." Stephen King
"Lawrence Block is a master of crime fiction." Jonathan Kellerman
Con artist Joe Marlin accidentally steals a suitcase full of heroin, then plots to murder the man he stole it from with the help of the man's wife. The first novel published by Block under his own name is now available in this complete, unabridged edition.
About the Author
Lawrence Block has won more awards than almost any other living mystery writer: four Edgar Awards
, four Shamus Awards, two Maltese Falcon Awards, the Nero Wolfe Award, the Cartier Diamond Dagger, and more. He was named a Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization's highest honor. (Previous recipients include James M. Cain
, Agatha Christie
, and Ross MacDonald
.) His work ranges from the searing noir investigations of alcoholic detective Matt Scudder
to the witty adventures of master burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr
and includes many stunning stand-alone thrillers such the bestselling Small Town
and Hard Case Crime's debut title, Grifter's Game
From World War II through the 1960s, paperback crime novels were one of the fastest-selling categories in book publishing. Millions of readers snapped up hundreds of millions of books by well-known authors like Erle Stanley Gardner
and Mickey Spillane
, as well as by promising young writers like Lawrence Block
, Elmore Leonard
, and Ed McBain
. Today, Block, Leonard, and McBain still make the bestseller lists with each new hardcover but the pulp novels that first captured the public's imagination weren't hardcovers. They were paperbacks you could fit in your back pocket, with jaw-dropping cover paintings
and bare-knuckled prose that grabbed you by the collar with the first sentence and held you until the last page. No one's published books like that in years.
Hard Case Crime is dedicated to reviving the vigor and excitement, the suspense and thrills the sheer entertainment of the golden age of paperback crime novels, both by bringing back into print the best work of the pulp era and by introducing readers to new work by some of today's most powerful writers and artists. Determined detectives and dangerous women...fortune hunters and vengeance seekers...ingenious criminals and men on the run for their lives...Hard Case Crime novels offer everything you want from a great story, all in handsome and affordable mass-market editions.