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The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes by Lawrence…
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The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes (original 2015; edition 2015)

by Lawrence Block (Author)

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8811211,217 (3.4)3
"Cashed out from the NYPD after 24 years, Doak Miller operates as a private eye in steamy small-town Florida, doing jobs for the local police. Like posing as a hit man and wearing a wire to incriminate a local wife who's looking to get rid of her husband. But when he sees the wife, when he looks into her deep blue eyes ... He falls-- and falls hard. Soon he's working with her, against his employer, plotting a devious plan that could get her free from her husband and put millions in her bank account. But can they do it without landing in jail? And once he's kindled his taste for killing ... will he be able to stop at one?"--… (more)
Member:PhonyGal
Title:The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes
Authors:Lawrence Block (Author)
Info:Lawrence Block (2015), 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Read in 2019

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The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes by Lawrence Block (2015)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
If you enjoyed Double Indemnity but thought it would be better with "butt sex", then this is the book for you. ( )
  chaosfox | Feb 22, 2019 |
Retired NYPD detective “Doak” Miller left his job for sunny small-town Florida, supplementing his pension as a part-time PI, performing background checks, routine insurance inquiries, and every so often, undercover work for the local Sheriff’s office, which is where the story begins. It is a fast read, and I read it in a little over four hours.

The wife of a wealthy businessman is looking to have her husband killed. The Sheriff wants Doak to play the part of hitman, get it on tape when she hires him to kill her husband, and accept a $1,000 earnest payment. Doak agrees until he sees the woman, and calls everything off. Her deep blue eyes do him in.

The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes is short, written with a stark flair, and remarkably complicated. It is Doak Miller’s story, intimately told. The girl’s backstory is told as narrative cleverly disguised as dialogue, and it works.

Doak is devious, criminal, selfish, and, as the novel develops, his amoral character is expertly revealed. He is clearly a man already fallen. His destruction is self-inflicted, and the blue-eyed woman is the tool he chooses to use to destroy himself. In an homage to Jonathan Cain, it is a skewed version Double Indemnity, but here, the man is predator and the woman his willing accomplice. The book admirably plays off the old black and white film noir without losing its own identity and interest. Its plotting is disturbing because nothing is out of place or unresolved. There is an extremely heavy dose of erotica (at a level I was not expecting – this is pulp noir after all) and not a single likable character.

I really like and enjoy these books from the Hard Case Crime imprint, reprinting many of the out-of-publication classics, and interspersing them with new works by authors like Block, Stephen King, and many others. This one fits in perfectly amongst the classics: it’s sassy and dirty like you would expect. ( )
  ssimon2000 | May 7, 2018 |
Block's Girl With the Deep us on a very different kind of journey, a journey that has us crawling into the sewer holes that form a psychotic killer's mind. That's why this isn't the straight-ahead pulp novel we were expecting.

Doak might be a retired New York City policeman settling down in a small town to do some fishing, but there's more to him than meets the eye, including a more questionable past than we originally think. There are things he's gotten away with in his past and, although he may justify his crimes, you gotta wonder how truthful he's being. Oh, he's a charmer alright and it doesn't take long before women strip off their wedding rings and pretty much everything else for him. But even adultery isn't quite enough for him. The sex has to eventually become deviant and violent. And, half the time you wonder how much of his encounters are real and how much are the fantasies he has concocted.
Of course, Doak and Lisa have their meet-cute story about how she was going to hire him as a hitman and how he was going to get her on tape for the sheriff. But even that gets twisted and Doak being who he is changed the play. Is she the femme fatale out to finish off her husband or is it really Doak pushing her?

This book is a lightning fast read and can be finished in just a few hours. It's not filled with action in the sense of a guy in the run or shootouts in the street. It's not a bank robbery story. It's a lot slower to develop and there's a kind of psychotic madness that Block teases out of this work. It may be quite titillating with vivid couplings, but there's a lot more beneath the surface. Really enjoyed this one, but it's not at all what I was expecting. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
One of the mission statements of Hard Case Crime, I believe, is to produce modern noir. I say “believe” because the only Hard Case books I’m aware of are from writers I already read. But if my assumption is correct, The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes hits the mark. Block takes James M. Cain’s specialty, desperate people stuck in desolate lives, and transports them from California in the 1930s to 21st century Florida.

Block acknowledges his inspirations, though not directly. His viewpoint character, Doak Miller, recently retired from the NYPD and in his late forties, is not much of a reader. “Luckily,” Turner Classic Movies is running a week of films with an appropriate theme: Double Indemnity and both versions of The Postman Always Rings Twice (based on Cain’s work), along with D.O.A. and In a Lonely Place. They help reinforce the noir atmosphere while crediting the novel’s influence.

Doak, thanks to his past experience and a working friendship with the local sheriff, is asked to pose as a hit man when a local woman begins to discreetly inquire about having her husband killed. Lisa Otterbein turns out to be the embodiment of Doak’s lifelong fantasy. And that’s just from viewing her picture. Once he meets her, those deep blue eyes cinch it. Instantly his life has become a noir movie.

Is she a femme fatale? Does her husband deserve the only fate that will free her from his grip? And if he continues down this road, can Doak get away with a small town murder? The sheriff knows of her original wishes, and of his initial involvement.

Doak is nobody’s hero. This is a story without a rooting interest. And when I describe it as modern noir, the emphasis is on “modern.” There are some sexually graphic images in this book, some of which that could be considered deviant. It is not for everybody.

The novel’s only other drawback is that by invoking a certain style and atmosphere--where familiar tropes are arranged in the expected order--it brings with it the expectation of an ending appropriate to what preceded it. This is not forthcoming. But if you can appreciate the skill it took to update a classic form of the genre and enjoy the ride as such, it will be worth the trip. ( )
  JohnWCuluris | Jan 1, 2017 |
Synopsis/blurb.....

Cashed out from the NYPD after 24 years, Doak Miller operates as a private eye in steamy small-town Florida, doing jobs for the local police. Like posing as a hit man and wearing a wire to incriminate a local wife who s looking to get rid of her husband. But when he sees the wife, when he looks into her deep blue eyes... He falls and falls hard. Soon he's working with her, against his employer, plotting a devious plan that could get her free from her husband and put millions in her bank account. But can they do it without landing in jail? And once he's kindled his taste for killing...will he be able to stop at one?
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My take....

Enjoyed a few months ago on audio and I have to say, I was kind of glad to be listening to it on my own, as Mr Block's main man Doak Miller enjoys an extremely active sex-life with a variety of willing participants in a variety of different orifices, seemingly favouring one where the sun doesn't usually shine - enough said. Probably too much said - Lawrence Block you'd make a sailor blush!

As for the mystery itself, our PI Miller is engaged by a local cop to entrap a waitress who's suspected of wanting her rich husband dead. Miller takes a good look at the waitress likes what he sees and schemes with her to outwit the sheriff, the husband and still run free to enjoy the proceeds.

Overall I liked it and was entertained by the whole shebang. I do wonder whether the sex elements would have the same impact as just the written word, maybe hearing them spoken gave them a greater power. I'm certainly no prude and chuckled along.

With regards to the plot, I was keen to see if our amorous pair could pull it off. I liked the back story of both, Miller's previous life in New York as a cop and the path travelled by our waitress (name escapes me) in arriving at a place where her husband just has to go.

Amusing and entertaining - you wouldn't expect anything less from Lawrence Block.

4 from 5

Listened to back in March, 2016. AUDIBLE COPY purchased.
http://col2910.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10... ( )
  col2910 | Oct 11, 2016 |
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