An Atomic Moo Book Review

May include SPOILERS!

Now re-released through Hard Case Crime is a 1960’s crime novel by award winning author Lawrence Block that explores a dark world of debauchery and murder on the Texas border. Borderline follows the sordid lives of four people living between El Paso and Juarez. It’s a story of sex, murder, sex, gambling, and… more sex. Along with Bordeline, there are few other short stories, written by Block, that are included in the paperback. Here’s the synopsis:

On the border between El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, five lives are about to collide – with fatal results. You’ll meet MARTY—the professional gambler who rolls the dice on a night with… MEG—the bored divorcee who seeks excitement and finds… LILY—the beautiful hitchhiker lured into a live sex show by… CASSIE—the redhead with her own private agenda… and WEAVER—the madman, the killer with a straight razor in his pocket, on the run from the police and determined to go down swinging!

Although Lawrence Block has an incredible writing talent, the stories included in Borderline came across as brutal, and very abrupt. The thing is, I really dig these 1950’s – 1960’s, hard boiled crime stories being put out by Titan Books and Hard Case Crimes. They’re awesome in a way today’s stories just aren’t. They have real men who drink, gamble, and kill. Sexy dames in tight dresses, and smoking! Lot’s of healthy smoking and drinking! And all of that is in Block’s, but just way (way) more sex, drinking, and gambling, and then a sudden stop at the end that made me think, “what the fuck?” Which was kind of a current theme in all these stories. Block writing is excellent and provocative, and he describes sex in a way that is graphic without being explicit in the least, but then BAM! Violent death. Or, woman beating. Overall, I just couldn’t enjoy these stories because of that. I enjoy sex (doing, seeing, reading, hearing… however) but it was way too much, and added with that was the harsh violence against the women in these stories. It was really, awful. However; this doesn’t put me off the Hard Case Crime novels. I’m still looking forward to the next smoke filled story of seedy murder in a third world country. I just hope the chick doesn’t get horribly beaten or murdered for no reason next time. Though, with just as much sex. Yeah, the sex was pretty cool, now that I think about it… and think about it…

Borderline can be found in all major bookstores or online at!

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