Some forty years ago bestselling author Lawrence Block wrote a half a dozen books as Jill Emerson. They were trashy, they were sordid, they were explicit, and they were popular! With titles like Warm and Willing, these stories are now known as the sexy sleaze books. Collectible copies of these and other vintage paperbacks by now famous authors (writing under pseudonyms) command stratospheric prices at shows around the country.
In September, Lawrence Block resurrects Jill Emerson with Getting Off: A Novel of Sex and Violence. She, he, they? introduce us to the world of Kit Tolliver, a serial killer with a strange pattern. She dons a new identity, chooses a man, has sex with him, and then kills him. It’s a pattern of behavior that erupts out of a childhood trauma. She soon realizes that there a few men – five, to be precise – who have bedded her and lived to tell the tale. And she decides that’s five too many. Getting Off is very funny, with a sharp satirical edge that cuts into sexual mores and the notion of healing through closure. Go figure.