Monday, November 14, 2016

"A Ticket to the Boneyard" - Lawrence Block (1990)

"A Ticket to the Boneyard"
By Lawrence Block (USA, 1990) 
Danish edition: "Billet til ormegården" 
Published by: Forlaget Klim (1992)
Translation: Mette Egerod
Ex library copy

I've just finished reading my second Matt Scudder novel. The first one was "A Walk Among the Tombstones" (which I posted about here) and this second one was "A Ticket to the Boneyard". I read "Walk" in Hard Case Crime's cool US paperback rerelease but my copy of "Boneyard" is an old Danish edition that I found (and bought) years ago at a library book sale. It was slightly odd to read about Matt Scudder in Danish but it was alright (although the translation was far from perfect which, unfortunately, was all too obvious even without having the original edition to compare with). I might get hold of the original English language version at a later stage.

I have at least one more Matt Scudder ex library book laying around somewhere (I've got seven or eight big removal boxes full of books piled up in my wee pad, I simply haven't got enough book cases to put 'em on!). Not sure which one it is, it could very well be "A Dance at the Slaughterhouse".

In "Boneyard" Matt Scudder and his lady friend, the prostitute Elaine, get harassed (to put it mildly) by an old foe from way back; Nasty piece of work James Leo Motley got locked up for 12 years thanks to Scudder and now he's out and about doing what an ex jailbird with a 12 year grudge does best. He doesn't stay far away from Scudder and Elaine, and this fellar isn't one to pop around for coffee or hang out with you discussing the latest trend in vinyl rereleases. He's off his rocker and does his best to "thank" Scudder for the 12 years behind bars. Matt's friends and relatives start dying in gruesome and yukky ways.

This isn't Miss Marple and there's no butler. "Boneyard" is a grim, violent and totally captivating hard-boiled crime novel and I certainly wanna get hold of more of Block's Scudder books. I think I liked "Tombstones" slightly better but it could very well have to do with this edition having been translated and the language just doesn't flow at well through the filter that a translation is. And as I mentioned at the beginning the translation isn't perfect to say the least (man "entrerer" altså ikke ind ad et vindue på dansk, helt ærligt!). But in any case, highly recommended.