Friday 16 January 2015



Like a Bone in the Throat was written in response to Otto Penzler’s invitation to contribute a story to a new anthology, Murder for Revenge. I’d had the idea in mind for a while, and the evolving relationship between Paul Dandridge and Billy Croydon seemed to lead inexorably to an inevitable conclusion. There are a lot of twists, and you may see some of them coming, but some may take you by surprise. Otto loved the story, and said it was one of the nastiest he’d ever read. His next anthology was Murder For Obsession; I suspect this story would have fit in there, too.

Another short December read and another journey with Lawrence Block……short stories with unknown characters, or longer stuff with one of his familiar protagonists – Keller, Bernie the Burglar or Matt Scudder and I’m pretty much guaranteed a great time. No exception here.

30-odd pages, under an hour of my reading time and time well spent.

Two guys – one a murderer, one a grieving bereft brother, his sister taken from him.

We have a court case then jail time on death row, our murderer – Billy Croydon, still enjoying the crime via the slow motion replays in his head and cultivating a new fan base from the women writing to him in his prison cell.

Paul Dandbridge, brother of Karen still craving the death penalty.

Years pass, letters are exchanged. Time heals all? Forgive, forget and move on with your life. An apparent change of heart from our victim’s brother, an intercession and a successful parole hearing in time.

Two antagonists reconciled? A new William Croydon embracing a second chance at a fulfilling and purposeful life…. what do you think?

Block comes up trumps again.

4 from 5

Acquired sometime in the past year or two from Amazon for kindle.


  1. Col, while I'm still reading my first novel by Lawrence Block, I love the way he writes — his prose is very unconventional. I'll be reading his short stories too, by and by.

    1. Prashant, I'm interested to see how you get on with this one. It's a Tanner book from memory and I haven't tried that series of his yet.

  2. Oh, this does sound good, Col. Block is just plain and simple a fine writer. Doesn't matter which protagonist. Glad you enjoyed this one.

    1. Margot - agreed. He's one of the very best.

  3. You make me want to read something by Block. Which I have plenty of.

    1. Tracy, I'll be reading a lot more of him this year (hopefully). I'll be interested to see what you try from him.