Hard Case, Hardcover, Hard Core

Just finished reading Larry Block’s (writing as Jill Emerson) latest, Getting Off. It’s a September release from Hard Case Crime, and represents that wonderful line’s first hardcover. The title sets the mood, and it’s a sex‚ and murder‚ fest from cover to cover. The plot follows a young victim of her father’s incestuous desires and grows up to be a babelicious serial killer, knocking off all the guys she’s ever dropped her drawers for including those she does the nasty with while en route to track down and kill past bedmates.

The book is completely over-the-top hardcore in its depictions of sex and violence (I kept writing Jesus, Larry in the margin while laughing), but with lines like so you get to have your cake and eat me too, it’s so tongue-in-cheek (just look at the cover) how could you not love it? Still, I found it an odd choice for the line’s first hardback, so asked Hard Case’s publisher Charles Ardai (a terrific writer himself) why pick that one?

Well, it’s the first time Larry has ever written a brand new novel for us (all the rest were reprints of his early work); that seemed to call for special treatment of some sort, he said. And he’s one of our most popular authors, and one of my personal favorites. And he’s an author libraries support enthusiastically, and libraries are used to being able to get his books in hardcover. And we were relaunching our line with a new publisher, and kicking things off with our first-ever hardcover seemed like a good way to commemorate the new us. So, a batch of reasons.

Makes sense to me now. Look for my review in an upcoming LJXpress.

Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers (mrogers@mediasourceinc.com) is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.