Such Men are Dangerous is either a heist novel that takes half it’s page count to get to the heist, or it’s a study in what individuals who have been cut off from society and culture. The book starts off with Paul Kavanagh, who has spent the last decade fighting in south East Asia, discovering that the Agency has determined that he is not the type they can trust to work for them. Dejected he heads south and ends up living in alone and cut off on an island he has developed a list of rules to live by and seems to be settling into his new life…. …. Only someone shows up on his island and manages to recruit him to help steal a load of weapons from the US Government.
Using a tone and a style that shows the journey of Paul Kavanagh though the book Block explores the crime as the choice of a man who has none of the typical reasons for committing his crime. There is no need for money, for vengeance, he’s not angry; he’s not looking for more…. In fact the only thing he really wants is to be left alone. There is an Existential element of the book, like the Hitman series (of which I have only read the first), that really in many ways is a deconstruction of the crime genre, getting to the core of what drives the professional heister.
Such Men Are Dangerous is the 7th Lawrence Block book that I have read this year as part of my one Block Book a month for 2011. This one was a very solid entry into his backlist and is worth checking out.
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