Lucky at Cards
A Hard Case Crime Novel
Lucky at Cards is the 3rd Hard Case Crime Book by Block that I have read so far, and like the others (A Diet Of Treacle and Grifter's Game) this book was a fast paced read that follows the adventures of people on the margin of what I like to call the G.I. life, which is to say a ‘normal’ life. In this case the main man on the margin is Bill Maynard, a former magician and current card mechanic. He has just been caught cheating in Chicago and finds himself in a new and unmanned town, where he is invited to a card game and falls in with a couple of guys from the upper middle/ lower upper class set. They take a liking to Bill and help him set up with a straight job, a girl, and the promise of that G.I. life….. only they don’t know about his grifter past, and his lack of comfort with the straight world.
I enjoyed the book, and am looking forward to the other Lawrence Block Hard Case entry, The Girl With The Long Green Heart (currently sitting on my nightstand)… and I wonder, like the other three will it have the same theme. Over and over though Lucky at cards I was reminded of Block’s other books, and the thread that flows though all of them seems to be exploring the lives of people who are on the margins of the society, who all seem to know that they are on those margins, and all seem to know that they don’t really fit in either world…. And it’s freedom that seems to drive the protagonists of his books, and finding that freedom in many places, drugs, on the road, having lots and lots of money… and then there is the question of the price of that freedom… the rootlessness, the acts committed to get that money.. and of course the toll that drugs take.