Reviewed by Christina M. Hinke
David Dodge. Hard Case Crime, $6.99 (320p) ISBN: 0-8439-5596-1
Aug. 14, 2006
It has been 54 years since Dodge's most famous book, To Catch a Thief, hit the shelves and was shortly thereafter made into the classic Hitchcock film. In reading his latest, written just before his death in 1974 and never before published, it's easy to see why his writing translated so well to Hollywood noir, with its tight-lipped narration, a tough easy rider in the lead and vivid descriptions of both glittering locales and gamine ladies. Our hero, con man Curly, is working the Côte d'Azur-as well as a matronly woman of means-when he meets the Hon. Regina Forbes-Jones, aka "Nemesis," who pegs him for a small-time grifter straight off. The on again/off again flirtation between the callused American swindler and the saucy British beauty is the delicious meat of the book. Unfortunately, Dodge chooses to spend most of the narrative chronicling Curly's scams across the world: from Cannes to Tangier, Marrakech, Lima and Belém. When the relationship between Reggie and Curly takes center stage, though, the book shines, and it ends with a gratifying twist. Dodge fans should pick this up for good old times, but newcomers may want to start with his time-tested classics.(Oct.)
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