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Hollywood films owe much of their sparkle to atmospheric effects, including the lighting, shading, and color lent by character-actors. Their counterparts in the genre of literary gumshoes may be found in a certain breed of character-detectives. Among them, Lawrence Block, a versatile exemplar of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction, has given readers two notable repeat offenders from New York: Matthew Scudder, the ex-cop, and Bernie Rhodenbarr, the cat burglar with scruples. Both have found their way to Hollywood. Block's work is noted especially for its realistic style, fast-paced plots, spare dialog, and flawed protagonists.
Samson, Steven Alan, "Lawrence Block" (1994). Faculty Publications and Presentations. 75.