Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Specialists” as Want to Read:
The Specialists
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Specialists

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  203 Ratings  ·  27 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 col
ebook, 160 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller (first published January 1st 1969)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Specialists, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Specialists

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jason Koivu
May 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
I gave this two stars, not because it was bad, but because it was not one of Lawrence Block's best and I know he can do better.

This story of counter-crime criminals (sort of like the A-Team!) is actually too dang short. It's not often I say that. Usually I'm all for trimming some of the fat. However, Specialists is an ensemble piece that needs time to develop or at least relate a bit of each character's backstory. At 160 pages, it's just not enough time. I felt like Block was still rounding ever
Not one of Block's better efforts, but even his not-so-good novels are entertaining at times. From the description I thought it would be better than it was. It read like a lost script of the A-Team. Maybe that's where they got the idea for the show.
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Bruce Nieminski
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lawrence-block
160 pages
Book #38 of 2017
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though dated, it is still a good story.
John Marsh
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Highton
an early Block crime classic - enjoyed it although slightly dated
Craig Childs
Jun 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 15, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  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.
Jul 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting, fun, caper novel. Block has created an interesting team of specialists, bonded together to do special projects, usually illegal. The operations are reminiscent of Stark's Parker novels, in that the excitement comes when perfectly planned operations go sideways.
Written originally as the first of a series, the backgrounds and characters of the individual members makes up most of the short novel. Timing and publisher/editorial shifts, as recounted by Block, makes this a stand alone
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How had I never read this before? What a great book! The afterword says that it was originally intended to be a series, and I'm so sorry that he didn't write more. Would have loved to have seen what happened to them all.
Lesley Ragsdale
A man's man book from the 1960s and it shows. I was already put out by the epic levels of testosterone laced condescension, but at the point where I find out one of the protags is a good ole boy rapist and I'm supposed to find him likable anyway, I was done.
Sep 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 11, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Okay, not my favorite, jumped a bit and fell together all to well.
Jul 06, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This is copy 90 of 200 signed, numbered and slip cased copies.
Andy Nieradko
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. Very cinematic. Great book. Would've been a great series.
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.
Denise M.
Sep 27, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: block-lawrence
AKA: Sheldon Lord, Jill Emerson, Paul Kavanaugh, Chip Harrison, Lawrence Block
David Weinfeld
a great cast but plot and action are poor.
May 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's an old Lawrence Block book. He got better as he continued to write, but this is still worth reading, particularly if you're a fairly devoted Block fan already. If not, read his later stuff.
Jose Batista
rated it really liked it
Oct 30, 2013
rated it liked it
Nov 20, 2012
Bob Cope
rated it really liked it
Jul 22, 2017
rated it liked it
Feb 25, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Compleat Terminal City
  • The Barbarous Coast
  • Alias: Omnibus
  • The Score (Parker, #5)
  • The Long-Legged Fly (Lew Griffin, #1)
  • Killing Castro (Hard Case Crime #51)
  • Inkräktaren  (Fredrik Broman, #5)
  • When the Thrill Is Gone (Leonid McGill, #3)
  • Falling Glass
  • The Road Virus Heads North
  • The Company Man
  • Going All the Way
  • Kiss (87th Precinct, #44)
  • Rumble Tumble (Hap and Leonard, #5)
  • Bust (Max & Angela #1)
  • A Bullet for Cinderella
  • Please Pass the Guilt (Nero Wolfe, #45)
Lawrence Block has been writing crime, mystery, and suspense fiction for more than half a century. He has published in excess (oh, wretched excess!) of 100 books, and no end of short stories.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., LB attended Antioch College, but left before completing his studies; school authorities advised him that they felt he’d be happier elsewhere, and he thought this was remarkably perceptiv
More about Lawrence Block...

Share This Book