|Aug 19 2023
Would you go through a nightmare to make a dream come true?
Lawrence Block's 1961 novel Mona, which has also been published as Grifter's Game and Sweet Slow Death, is the old classic: a husband, a wife, and a lover talked into murder. The suspension of disbelief test here comes at the outset, when longtime grifter Joe Marlin steals a suitcase that happens to contain a fortune in heroin, then accidentally meets and starts an affair with the eponymous sexpot Mona, who's married to the suitcase's owner. Quelle coïncidence. Or not. Marlin has lived by wits and deceit for a long time, and his instincts scream for him to gallop out of town with the horse. Instead he braves organized crime retribution because he's fallen in love. Dames'll be your ruin every time. Good stuff from Block, fast and fun, with a crisp twist at the end. The cover art on this Gold Medal edition is uncredited.