By Lawrence Block

Intercourse, medicines, AND homicide within the LAND OF THE LOTUS EATERS

Anita Carbone was once a great woman – and it bored her. 

That’s why she took the lengthy subway trip all the way down to Greenwich Village, domestic of the Beats and the stoners, domestic to each type of misfit and dropout and unfastened spirit you'll think. It used to be the place she met Joe Milani, the stricken younger conflict veteran with the mild contact. however it used to be additionally the place she met his drug-dealing roommate – a guy whose unnatural appetites resulted in murder…

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Sample text

He didn’t ring the bell because none existed, and if there had been one he would not have bothered to ring. At Fran’s place you opened that always unlocked outer door and climbed those grim, unlighted stairs until you reached Fran’s door where you knocked just in case some stud was ahead of you. Joe paused at the door, undecided whether to knock or to turn around, head down the stairs and out of the building, up Third to Saint Marks and over Saint Marks to his own place—saying to hell with Fran and to hell with Joe Milani and to hell, for that matter, with just about everybody.

Well-dressed, clean-shaven, eager as a sixteen-year-old at a whorehouse for the first time. A Madison Avenue type trying to be hip, looking for a kick and ready to pay for it. Square as they come, but his wallet was full and he would pay good money for a few joints. Shank stood up. The man hesitated, then rose and stood next to him awkwardly. “Let’s make it,” Shank said. ” “We can take a cab,” the man said. ” Shank nodded shortly and they walked over to Fifth where the man flagged a taxi. The man held the door for him and Shank hopped in, sinking heavily into the seat.

You just think you’re cool,” Shank said. “You’ll scare the girl, baby. ” “Why do you put it there? ” Joe smiled, a lazy smile. “Bet me,” he said. ” He considered. “Bet me a joint,” he offered. ” Joe nodded. “Cool,” Shank said. ” “You’ll lose the bet, baby. Us wops never lose a bet, you know. ” He did not wait for Shank to reply. Instead, he stood up, light on his feet, calm. He was extremely sure of himself, sure he was tall and good-looking enough to attract her, sure he would come on strong enough to interest her.

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