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Block, Lawrence

2,772 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 068814182X / ISBN 13: 9780688141820
Published by Morrow, New York, 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Kathleen Simpson (Simi Valley, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since July 15, 1998 Seller Rating 2-star rating

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About this Item

A 292 page Matthew Scudder novel. SIGNED by the author on the title page. First edition, first printing. Dust jacket is enclosed in a clear mylar cover. Received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly. Book will be carefully packed and shipped in a box. Bookseller Inventory # 10626

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Morrow, New York

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition

About this title


Matthew Scudder is finally leading a comfortable life. He's sober, he's married, and the state just gave him a private investigator's license. He's growing older, and he's even getting respectable.

And his town is mellowing, too. The crime rate's down and the stock market's up. Gentrification's prettying up the old neighborhood. The New York streets don't seem so mean anymore.

Then Scudder signs on to help his closest and most unlikely friend, the larger-than-life Hell's Kitchen hoodlum Mick Ballou. And all hell breaks loose.

Scudder finds out he's not so respectable after all. He learns the spruced-up sidewalks of New York are as mean as they ever were, dark and gritty and stained with blood. And he discovers he's living in a world where the past is a minefield, the present is a war zone, and the future's an open question. It's a world where nothing's certain and nobody's safe, a random universe where no man's survival can be taken for granted -- not even his own.

A world where everybody dies.

Matt Scudder's most desperate and suspenseful case is Lawrence Block's richest, strongest, finest novel.


You would think that by the 14th novel in a series, an author might become a bit bored with his characters, a bit sloppy in his writing. Thankfully, Lawrence Block is no such writer. Matt Scudder, in his 14th appearance, is as sharp and entertaining as he is in such mysteries as Eight Million Ways to Die and A Dance at the Slaughterhouse. Scudder is one of the few dicks out there with a fully fleshed-out personality; he's not insensitive to the mayhem around him, and his fears are well founded and realistic. After all, as the title boldly states, we live in a world where everybody dies.

Settled into married life, sober, and finally a legit private eye (the state granted his license), Scudder is prepared to become a respectable high-priced detective working for New York City lawyers. But when his old buddy, Mick Ballou, comes to him because two of his runners end up murdered, Scudder finds himself sinking back into the muck of the underworld. While dodging thugs who are out to put a stop to his investigation, Scudder must figure out who has it in for Ballou.

The writing in this novel is elegant--equally supple in describing the gibbous moon as it is in sorting out Scudder's feelings on the murder of a close friend, or when recounting a rather gory eye plucking. The dialogue is snappy and true to life. Lawrence Block once again proves he's worthy of the title Grand Master of Mystery. So be sure to set aside a chunk of time before you sit down to read this novel, because you're not going to be able to tear yourself away. --Jenny Brown

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Kathleen Simpson, 2992 Chippewa Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93063. Telephone and
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