Thursday, December 9, 2021

Review: Kept

Kept Kept by Sheldon Lord
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sheldon Lord was an early pseudonym of Lawrence Block. This starts out quite edgy with a guy hitchhiking and getting picked up by a blonde in a convertible and there's a sense that the storyline could go anywhere, particularly with the breezy, devil-may-care narrative voice. Yet, surprisingly, this turns out to be a Horatio Alger type story as well as a romance story. Our unemployed hitchhiking narrator decides he doesn't want to be the kept man of the Park Avenue blonde so he gets a job and works his way quickly up to general manager. He beds his secretary, but she turns down his marriage proposal because she can sense he's in love with someone else. So back to Park Avenue he goes to marry the blonde and then move to Westchester. Such a depressingly happy ending. Block was better after he switched his pseudo to Andrew Shaw and abandoned the happy endings and even better when writing crime/noir under his own name.

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