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The Specialists

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A team of ex-commandos takes justice into their own hands, exacting vengeance on the criminals whom the government cannot stop

Albert Platt is a rotten man. Bred in the rough parts of Brooklyn, he made his name as a killer and has built a fortune from gambling, loan sharking, and the other pastimes of a standard thug. His latest gambit? Buying banks, robbing them, and colle
ebook, 160 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller (first published January 1st 1969)
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I always enjoy the writing of Lawrence Block, and this was no exception.

Originally written in 1969 and now available as an ebook, this delightful book was a fun read and a good story.

Set in the late 60's it has the feel of an older internet (go to the library for resources) no cell phones,

Veterans trying to to make things right when bad guys make things go wrong....interesting characters, with a good back story, some fun, some great story points (the pretend tree surgeon
A group of ex-enlisted men and army officers forms a team to do what the law can't: catch bag guys. Sort of like the A-Team. (This was an early Block and for all I know gave someone in Hollywood the idea.) The colonel, who has money, creates lives for them to account for their unusual income. One of them is a stamp collector and dealer (shades of a future Keller?), another an encyclopedia salesmen (he didn't mind conning people into buying a good encyclopedia since everyone ought to have one - o ...more
Craig Childs
I couldn't help liking this book. It's fast-paced, with wildly implausible action scenes and tongue-in-cheek humor. (I particularly liked the part where one of the commandos would tape a knife to his leg and then sneak up behind someone, remove the knife quiety, and kill him. Really? How does the intended victim not hear you ripping duct tape off your leg?)

I realize this book is deeply silly on many levels. But it's like watching a James Bond movie from the 70's: Yes, the plot barely makes sense
Jun 17, 2010 Eric rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a light, although violent, action-adventure read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
As others have noted, there are serious shades of "The A Team" here. A team of crack soldiers out to right wrongs and help the innocent, etc. There are also shades of Richard Stark/Donald Westlake here--the planning and execution phase of The Specialists reminded me of some of the Parker books a little. Overall, this wasn't a bad read, but nothing particularly special, either. I think that one reason the book falls a little flat is that half of the "good guys" are pretty repugnant. For guys who ...more
Eileen Gray
Good story

I found it a little boring . Not like Blocks other books. But I still enjoyed it. My next READ will be Block.
This story has been done many times as books and as movies. It is really old hat. But the orher writers weren't Lawrence Block.
Jul 06, 2015 Karl marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This is copy 90 of 200 signed, numbered and slip cased copies.
In modern parlance you might consider this "Ocean's Eleven" meets "The A-Team." Basically a bunch of retired Special Forces guys get together to knock over a bank after a tip from a call girl who then conveniently disappears from the plot. It's too bad the book wasn't longer but like a lot of Block's books it's a fun little yarn. Also interesting that he uses a couple of things that show up in other books. The Canadian mining scam was used in another one I can't remember and Block's Keller serie ...more
David Weinfeld
a great cast but plot and action are poor.
A solid action/adventure slice of manfiction. Sort of a literary version of the A-Team. Block claims this was originally a series idea, but after the first installment, he decided enough was enough. Though I'd truly love to read more of this group's adventures, it's nice to see that the author sent them out on a high note. Twists and turns, suspenseful as hell. Joe Bob says check it out.
I borrowed this audio book from the library on a day when the pickings were admittedly slim and I wanted something short and quickly engaging. Mercifully, this book was short or else I would not here suffer the shame of admitting that I fast-listened to it. So that is not a recommendation.
An early Block work where the style that would propel him into successful series writing, particularly with Scudder, starts to solidify. In contrast to his early semi-soft porn stuff, where he was searching for rhythm and voice, this book makes a leap forward in both areas. Enjoyable, short read.
The language is terse and plot convoluted, but when a double-amputee Colonel is leading a gang of 5 Vietnam Vets, does that really matter? Like A-Team re-envisioned for Skinemax, this is the best 25 cents I have spent on a book.
Denise M.
Sep 27, 2009 Denise M. marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: block-lawrence
AKA: Sheldon Lord, Jill Emerson, Paul Kavanaugh, Chip Harrison, Lawrence Block
Andy Nieradko
Brilliant. Very cinematic. Great book. Would've been a great series.
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Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 2002.

From his web site:

I'm told every good author website needs a bio, so here's mine:

"Lawrence Block's novels range from the urban noir of Matthew Scudder (A Drop of the Hard Stuff) to the urbane effervescence of Bernie Rhodenbarr (The Burglar on the Prowl), while other characters include the globe-trotting insomniac Evan Tanne
More about Lawrence Block...

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