Monday, February 2, 2015

The Scoreless Thai by Lawrence Block -- a book you can judge by its cover

The Scoreless Thai is the fourth of Block's Evan Tanner novels, the author's first major series. It is also, arguably, his most problematic. There is a lot to like in these books, from genuine suspense and hard-edged adventure to sharp political satire to lighthearted farce. The trouble is that all of these fine parts often fail to come together into a coherent tone.

You can see this in the cover.

The illustration by Phil Parks is beautifully done and is taken directly from the harrowing passage that opens the book. The title is a clever pun on one of the central characters. Individually, both are well done but when combined they simply don't mesh.

It's a good read and an interesting time capsule but it would take a few more years for Block to truly hit his stride.