Lawrence Block is a prolific writer who has several crime novels under his belt and is a master of the genre, but he seems to have lost something with this story. “Getting Off” is about a woman serial killer, a rarity in real life but overly represented in the media, named Kitty who meets men and then kills them while having sex with them or just after. Kitty has been doing this for some time and discovers that there is no end game to her killing spree because there are a few that have gotten away from her. She decides to rectify that and begins hunting for the men. Block always tells a good tale and there are chapters which are well done, but the book as a whole does not culminate in a satisfying tale. There is a lot of sex, humor, and creative situations: my favorite is how do you kill someone who is already in prison. However, the problem that I find with the book as whole is that there is no suspense or foil for the main character. There are no police hot on her trail or a victim intelligent enough to see that they are in her cross hairs. This leaves only sex and humor to make the character more interesting. The sex scenes are interesting and wouldn’t be labelled pornographic and the humor is somewhat dark for the most part. Still, in this day and age of forensic detective novels and television shows one would think that the authorities would be aware of a female serial killer who has sex, kills, and robs her victims. Then again, that might be something we tell ourselves because the thought of a successful serial killer is too frightening and that the authorities are not that good at finding them. Either way, I can recommend this book for fans of the author and the hard boiled crime novel but not the casual reader.
Who is it for? Hard boiled crime novel fans.
Is it any good? It has a few chapters that work really well, but overall the story doesn’t work for me.