By Lawrence Block
Twelve years in the past, Matthew Scudder lied to a jury to place James Leo Motley in the back of bars. Now the creative psychopath is unfastened. And the alcoholic ex-cop-turned-p.i. needs to pay dearly for his sins. neighbors and previous enthusiasts -- even strangers unlucky adequate to percentage Scudder's identify -- are turning up useless. simply because a vengeful maniac is set to not leisure until eventually he's pushed his nemesis again to the bottle...and then to the boneyard.
"The manhattan settings are beautifully genuine, the discussion is hip . . . and the answer . . . is hair-raising," -- Publishers Weekly
"A gentle, Chilling Suspense Novel That Stretches Nerves Wire-Tight" -- Boston Herald
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Additional info for A Ticket to the Boneyard
The reader may wish to ask whether Holt’s characterization of interpretive openness applies not only to the case of Twin Peaks but to others as well. Holt himself applies it insightfully to both The Maltese Falcon and The Prisoner, but in doing so he may have inadvertently weakened his own case. For if we accept his claim that the motivations of Sam Spade are multiply interpretable, what are we to make of his earlier claims of Spade’s “underly- 26 Steven M. Sanders ing nobility,” that he is a “noble hero”?
Webb had no interest in creating suspenseful action; those who tuned in could depend not only on Friday and his cohorts solving every case (and emerging unscathed) but also on the judicial system never failing to convict and sentence the felons appropriately. Dragnet, instead, engaged viewers with what seemed to be the accurate, objective depiction of the “truth” of police work through the reenactment of the investigation of what is ostensibly (and usually is truly) an actual case. Thus the characteristic Dragnet scene is not physical action, such as a car chase, but conversation: sometimes the interrogation of either witnesses or suspects, sometimes a discussion among the policemen themselves about how to proceed.
This seems true enough, but we should add that Webb, who had a good visual sense, frequently animated these rather static scenes with extreme close-ups, filling the small screen with the single human face in a fashion that was quite innovative and often remarked on at the time. As he said, “The close-up is the thing that pays off on the small screen, . . ”13 In this way, the episode’s conversational scenes were dramatized, an effect heightened by quick cross-cutting between or among speakers as well as by deftly positioned reaction shots.
A Ticket to the Boneyard by Lawrence Block