I only read about a hundred pages of this one, but it was enough to know I didn’t like it. I don’t believe in continuing to do something I don’t enjoy so I stopped reading. I’ve read some of Block’s Bernie Rhodenbarr series (e.g., The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons) and enjoyed the wit and cleverness of plot, so I had high hopes for this one, but I found it to be crude and rather offensive. Block at least avoids the all-too-prevalent four-letter words of other novels with indirect language, but still manages to descend into tackiness. (I pushed her head down below my waist and told her to pretend she’s a French girl). The fact that the main character (“hero?”) beat and then murdered his wife didn’t help. As a former FBI agent I know something about New York organized crime and the whole plot was preposterous. The notion that a new guy could just blow into town and be recognized as a “hotster” (whatever that is) and be given a mob assignment just doesn’t fly with my plausibility meter. From now on I’ll stick to The Burglar Who series with Block.