This book, Random Walk, was way out of character from most Lawrence Block novels. Written in 1988, it grabs you mostly by making you want to see how he's going to draw it all together. You know he will, you're just not sure how. It was a bit of a struggle getting there, but satisfying.
It begins in the Pacific Northwest. Guthrie decides to take a walk. He doesn't know how far he's going or where he's going. A journey of any length begins with a single step and Guthrie takes it, facing east.
Wonderful things happen as he walks. He begins to draw people to him. The group grows and walks and heals.
The random walk: It never ends, it just changes; it is not the destination which matters, but the journey.
What that Amazon synopsis leaves out is that interspersed throughout those chapters is a serial killer, a small dose of Block I was used to. The guy is in the real estate business and manages to kill over 100 women. The reader kind of figures the nut-job is at some point going to meet up with the group of walkers who find that their journey heals their ailments as they walk. What we don't know is what will happen when he does. For that, you'll have to read it.
This is another novel that Block draws on his several trips to South Dakota. The walkers start in Oregon and along their way drop down from North Dakota into Belle Fourche and several small communities in South Dakota before another stop in De Smet and then down through Sioux Falls. I've written about Block's references to South Dakota in several books and even talked to him about it. I find that pretty cool.
Cool enough for a 6 rating on the 10-point Haugenometer. Amazonians gave it a 3.9 out of 5.