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Would you like to tell us about a lower price? Learn more about Amazon Prime. The third novel in the explosive Matt Scudder series from a master of the crime thriller genre. Read more Read less. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Sponsored products related to this item What's this? A gripping, noir thriller Thomas Blume Book 1. People are calling the Thomas Blume series unputdownable. Find out why today! They say that witches, demons and ghosts aren't real. Get hooked on Dark Root.
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In this rather strangely plotted novel, Scudder has been asked to exonerate a cop who decided to expose police corruption and, more significantly, is accused of murdering a call girl. No doubt fellow cops are angry at his betrayal, but would they try to frame him. Not unlike his police work, he is willing to doggedly pursue leads.
Eventually, his hard work brings clarity to a rather convoluted case. The ending has a bizarre twist. One person found this helpful. In the end, the great detective novel series are not about crimes or twists or plots or mysteries - they're about a man, and often about his part of the world. Block captures an interesting and unique different take on both, Scudder is unusually humble though still possessing super-human powers like the typical PI hero and aware of his imperfection, modest.
Block's New York is a local's view, he doesn't cheapen it with landmarks and NY stereotypes to make it more familiar to an outside reader. I think these early Scudder books are the best, where the stories are generally more realistic, and the action is smaller; the later books fall into the trap of up-scaling and slip into huge body counts and fire fights and pyschpath serial killers, which really detracts from the special quality of these books.
But here in the early books they are just right, like someone playing a piano in the back of a bar, not too loud. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. In this second Matthew Scudder novel, we learn that when it comes to murder and investigation, nothing is what it seems and no-one is who they appear to be.
We have learned already in two books, that of the many qualities that Scudder possesses, the man in question thinks what he says and, when appropriate, says what he thinks. This habit comes in useful in this case even though half of this book is spent digging and yields little value until, finally, a chat with the local New York DA sheds some light on the true character of the murder victim.
The book, you see, is not about just about who killed the prostitute but who set up Scudder's client and why.
Mr Block is world famous for his writing and story telling abilities. Already, at such an early stage of this wonderful series, his plots are sufficiently engaging and dare I say, sufficiently fascinating to make it difficult for the reader to close their kindle. There is the hint of a relationship building between Scudder and his female friend Elaine but he has not committed himself to her at this stage. His too busy sleeping with this client's wife. Fortunately for him, and the baddies, these are few and far between.
Unless books leave me with goose bumps, and gasping with awe at the brilliance of the reading experience, I tend not to award them five stars. It is good, in fact, very, very good but I can't give it full marks. One has to leave room for the extraordinary. Once you pick it up you won't want to put it down until you're done. A fun, satisfying crime story. This book wouldn't be out of place beside the best works of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.
But it sticks me where it hurts. I'm choking on it. I guess for me, there is something as bad as premeditated murder, and that's rape. We just have a little making up to do. View all 14 comments. Aug 01, Carol. Second edition of Matthew Scudder's saga, and I'm looking forward to the next. Oh, who am I kidding? I've already started the next one, but had to stop and do the review for this so I can give it the thought it deserves. Scudder's daily meander between bourbon and coffee is interrupted when Spinner, one of his ex-stoolies, comes to him with a request.
Hold on to an envelope; if Spinner dies, open it and take whatever action Scudder thinks is right. If nothing happens to Spinner, no fair eyeballi Second edition of Matthew Scudder's saga, and I'm looking forward to the next. If nothing happens to Spinner, no fair eyeballing the contents. Needless to say, something happens to Spinner, the envelope is opened and Scudder finds himself contacting the unsavory victims of Spinner's blackmail in an effort to solve his murder. Block's skill at characterization continues to shine. Scudder's actions, while somewhat considered, still have unintended and unfortunate consequences, much like his shooting the bystander in the robbery.
Good intentions, half-baked implementation and disastrous consequences. I liked that Block was willing to throw his lead into such difficult situations, but equally unwilling to let him wallow there. Even as Scudder flirts with an alcoholic haze, he finds himself unable to abandon responsibility. I can see why this would be an Edgar nominee; the level of moral ambiguity and compassion for the characters is impressive.
Trina is fast becoming one of my favorite guest characters, with her sympathetic ear and her sassy humor. Here she checks out a visitor for Scudder and her description makes a strange kind of sense: Didn't they use more than one guy? He looks like all of them. You know, high rawhide boots and a wide-brimmed hat and smelling of horseshit, and the tattoo on his hand. He's not wearing boots or a hat, and he doesn't have the tattoo, but it's the same image.
Don't ask me if he smells of horseshit. I didn't get close enough to tell. He had the best description of a cigarette after a long hiatus that almost lured me into picking one up: They were the first I'd had in almost two months, and I couldn't have gotten a better hit if I'd punched them right into a vein.
They made me dizzy but in a nice way. But don't worry; there was a sign on them that said it was illegal to sell or buy them if you were under 18, so it was perfectly safe. For me, the one downside was the mystery itself. Scudder thinks he's fingered the killer, and it is such an illogical assumption that one can almost see the flick of a red tail in the pages. Still, the twists and big reveal are satisfactory, if for no other reason than Scudder's unique resolution skills.
Three and a half stars, rounding up because Trina made me laugh and Block made me remember a cigarette from ten years ago. View all 15 comments. Feb 10, Mara rated it really liked it Shelves: Oh Scudder, Scudder, Scudder. Other than learning that you do not, in fact, vote, my literary crush on you knows no bounds. With one-liners like Somebody put money in the jukebox, and Lesley Gore said it was her party and she would cry if she wanted to. I, in fact, find you downright irresistible. Since some pretty kick-ass reviewers have tackled this the second-written of Block's Matthew Scudder stories see Trudi , Carol , Kemper , and Dan's reviews for starters , I decided that I could best contribute to the Scudder fandom by attempting to create a visual for the character described as and, yes, the Watergate reference made me fall a little harder for Lawrence Block: A Marlboro man with eyes like Ehrlichman.
As I'm sure you can tell, I'm not exactly what you would call a "photoshop-wiz," but I mean, well, I tried The plot synopsis was far more intriguing than the previous novels in the series and so it turned out as this story was my favourite to date. Low and behold, he's required to look into things a little quicker than Jablon would have liked. Who would have thought that being a serial blackmailer would endanger oneself?
There turns out to be three people to investigate and more red herrings than Agatha Christies back catalogue. As in the previous novels it takes some good old fashioned detective work to get to the bottom of this mystery and a bit of hardcore drinking. I might try me this drinking coffee and whiskey malarkey, sounds like it just lets you drink for longer and be more alert whilst doing so. The audiobook was the same as before, good but not great. The narrator does different voices to help distinguish characters and has a bit of a gravelly voice to add to the old school detective feel.
I noticed that from here the narrators will vary going forward so not sure how that will go but keen to find out soon enough. All in all a very good outing leaving me wanting more which is always a sign of a good series. If you're on the fence on trying this, jump off and get them.
View all 4 comments. Apr 23, Melissa rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This would've been a four-star book for me, but the fact that Scudder is willing to let Huysendahl off the hook basically because he says he's not into pedophilia all that much anymore does not sit well with me. I'm not breaking up with Scudder or anything, but in the future, please let's have the pedophiles get more than just a slap on the wrist, shall we? Has the feel of Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye Matt Scudder returns to investigate the death of a former acquaintance who has been murdered in the middle of a blackmail scam, the only difficulty is that there are three suspects "on the rope" and all three are equally reprehensible in their own way.
Again in this series the story is less about the investigation and more about the life choice of the detective, Scudder is a drunk who stumbles around New York in a manner highly reminiscent of Elliot Has the feel of Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye Matt Scudder returns to investigate the death of a former acquaintance who has been murdered in the middle of a blackmail scam, the only difficulty is that there are three suspects "on the rope" and all three are equally reprehensible in their own way. Again in this series the story is less about the investigation and more about the life choice of the detective, Scudder is a drunk who stumbles around New York in a manner highly reminiscent of Elliot Gould's take on Philip Marlowe, his moral compass the only thing guiding him through cases.
Much as the ending of Robert Altman's movie features a "morally just" murder as an addition after the case is solved Matt Scudder takes the same "morally just" attitude towards closing this second case, only without the bloody corpse floating in a river. Lawrence Block writes this stuff better than anyone else I know, his style is addictive to the point where I actively have to consider reading other writers in between hits.
You might say that I take other novelists in the same way Scudder divides his drinks between liquor and coffee, I want more Block but I know that it's dangerous not to temper the effects by partaking of other, lesser substances. The case as it is features some great red herrings that cause you to doubt your convictions as in his subtle way Block toys with his readers; Matt takes off on a two day bender, gets things wrong as much as he gets them right, earns and turns down fantastic sums of money, enters in to a knife fight without a knife, steals from a corpse, starts fights with cops and sleeps with two women.
All in a weeks work and safe to say my favourite Scudder to date. View all 7 comments. Jul 28, Mark rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Onto part deux of the adventures of Matthew Scudder former policeman turned into and investigator of the non-legal variety. This one is about a former acquaintance of Scudder in his cop years. The Spinner was a petty crook and a blackmailer. And by the look at his wardrobe he was doing very well.
Which was no excuse for anybody to kill him. Which brings us to the letter he left in Scudders possession which contains the information that probably has killed Spinner to gebin with. Scudder now has an Onto part deux of the adventures of Matthew Scudder former policeman turned into and investigator of the non-legal variety. Scudder now has an envelope with the information that Spinner was blackmailing three people: Scudder decides to do a little blackmailing himself. Can Scudder find out who killed the Spinner before he becomes a victim himself?
Once again a great moral tale about truths people rather not want to get known and go great lengths to hide or kill for it? Scudder is still drinking like a fish but still goes the extra mile to avenge his acquaintance from being fishfodder. A great tale that is worth anybodies while that enjoys a good tale that is grounded into a nice morality tale. Lawrence Block created a tremendous character in Mathew Scudder. Looking forward to reading more of this series. Very enjoyable and entertaining from start to finish! Aug 10, Brandon rated it really liked it Shelves: The contents of said envelope you ask?
Oh, nothing crazy, just evidence that could ruin the lives of three New Yorkers. Basically, Spinner has posthumously asked Scudder to find out who killed him. The only catch is that one of the 3 that Spinner had wrapped around his finger intends to silence Scudder just like they silenced Spinner. I was hoping for something just as strong as The Sins of the Fathers and boy, oh boy, did I ever get what I wanted. Not only did Block add a bit of dry humour to Scudder and his encounters with the above mentioned 3 a particularly hilarious line upon meeting Beverly Ethridge for the first time , he had my mind thrown all over the place as I consistently thought I had it all figured out.
Scudder is just such an awesome character.
Even as Scudder flirts with an alcoholic haze, he finds himself unable to abandon responsibility. I've already started the next one, but had to stop and do the review for this so I can give it the thought it deserves. We have learned already in two books, that of the many qualities that Scudder possesses, the man in question thinks what he says and, when appropriate, says what he thinks. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. Matthew Scudder, the alcoholic, guilt-ridden ex-cop who tithes his fees to random poorboxes, is as compelling a character here as he was in the his first adventure, and the plot too is equally interesting.
I hate one dimensional good guys. Scudder has a past that he is constantly struggling with; the accidental death of a 7 year old girl when she inadvertently stumbled into a crime. I think he identifies with their strong association with personal grief and guilt. Nevertheless, I have ridiculously high hopes for the rest of this series. I guess I should state that this is the second Matthew Scudder novel. Sometime while reading the second half of this book today it dawned on me that Scudder is quite a bit like another character I came across recently. At first I couldn't remember which one, but I knew it was from one of the Hard Case novels I've devoured in the past three months.
I thought maybe it was from an earlier Lawrence Block novel, but then it hit me, Scudder is a lot like Matt Cordell I had to look this up just now, I I guess I should state that this is the second Matthew Scudder novel. I thought maybe it was from an earlier Lawrence Block novel, but then it hit me, Scudder is a lot like Matt Cordell I had to look this up just now, I have no memory of character names for the most part from Ed McBain's novel The Gutter and the Grave. Now I'm looking at the names and I see two Matts, and I see two surnames with two syllables each and d sound at the end of the first syllable.
I don't know if I'm on to anything, or if I'm just noticing something that maybe Block was upfront about, or if I'm just an idiot and really there are only so many ways to create an ex-New York's Finest who reluctantly solves crimes but Cordell wasn't a cop he was a PI, actually the more I think about it there are quite a few differences, but there are quite a few similarities, too. I didn't love this one as much as Sins of the Father , the first book in the series.
Actually, I'm sort of lying. I liked it about as much, but what made me love the first book was the weird surprise revelation of Scudder's character towards the end of the novel, and well, I now know that part of his character and when something similar to the ending of the first novel happens in this one there wasn't really the awe inspiringness going on.
It's sort of like when you first read someone's witty review, that is say written in the style of the book they just read or uses a particularly funny style of pictures and you think it's good and you vote on it, and then you see that the same thing is done again for the next book, and the one after that and the one after that and so on and so on, and you stop liking it and you realize that it's actually sort of annoying. This is kind of like that, but since it's only the second novel and there were lots of other things to enjoy about the novel it didn't bother me this thing I'm talking about but not actually saying what it is , and I can imagine Block continuing to use this device or aspect of Scudder's character and still keeping his books fresh and enjoyable, unlike say a James Bond movie which is a whole franchise that I find unbearably tedious in it's cookie cutter plot.
I really dislike those movies. I'm not complaining though, I'm just trying to obtusely point out why I only gave this book four stars.
On to book three now. Some parts were good, especially with Trina and Spinner, maybe Guzik. Mostly, though, it was uneven pacing, repetitious in parts, some clumsy plotting, many characters lacking in depth, all-in-all not nearly as good as the first book. Why do we allow this? Starts very well then gets VERY repetitive and bogged down. Bosch did it recently and its fecking DULL I don't buy it.
Sloppy plotting and characterisation. View all 3 comments. This hardcover is numbered of and is signed by Lawrence Block and Jonathan Kellerman introduction. Aug 25, Mike rated it liked it. Written in '76, we find Scudder approached by a small-time acquaintance, Spinner Jablon. Spinner, sporting a nice suit, appears to have moved up in the world.
He asks Matt to hold on to an envelope for him, as he fears his life may be in danger. The danger is that Spinner has moved into blackmail, and of his 3 fish on the line, one plans on erasing the blackmailer. A preposterous premise done right in Written in '76, we find Scudder approached by a small-time acquaintance, Spinner Jablon. A preposterous premise done right in a hard-boiled way, along with some deliciously devious bad people. Aug 09, Nancy Ellis rated it it was amazing.
This has become one of my favorite series. In this episode, small-time informer Jake "The Spinner" Jablon has hired Scudder to find his killer if and when he is killed for his new occupation of blackmailer.
His body is soon found floating in the river, and Scudder is the only person interested in finding who murdered him. Scudder does a conscientious job, as always, and uncovers some unsavory characters as he solves the case in this no-nonsense, down to earth story. I really enjoy the setting of This has become one of my favorite series. I really enjoy the setting of the 70s and the lack of techno gadgets, combined with ingenious descriptions of people and places. I enjoyed this one better than the first in the series; so I'll carry on.
This informer has found a new line of business in blackmail but now one of his clients has figured it was better to kill than keep paying for his silence. After an attempt on his life goes wrong, The Spinner turns to Scudder to be his avenging angel if he ever does wind up dead.
Only problem is when he eventually was found floating in the river, Scudder had to work out just who finally caught up to The Spinner and killed him. Having just finished War and Peace a review that is quite difficult to write I felt the need to read something quick and easy. This is pure escapism, a quick and entertaining read full of dark gritty characters that all have a secret to keep. If I ever need a quick easy palate cleaner, then I might return to the Matthew Scudder because sometimes you need mindless entertainment.
If anyone has a recommendation for a great hard-boiled crime series, please let me know. This review originally appeared on my blog; http: Apr 23, Iniya rated it liked it Shelves: My first matthew scudder and i am not disappointed Aug 27, Gloria Bernal rated it liked it. His nick-name derived from a habit he has of spinning a silver dollar on a table top while conversing. He pays Scudder for keeping an envelope for him, not to be opened unless he is found dead somewhere, which could be likely as he is in the risky business of blackmailing people.
One of these is his killer. Scudder is an unlicensed investigator. A former cop who is damaged by events in his past. He does favors for people and accepts a monetary payment for the favor. He buries himself in work to escape the reality of his personal life. The cases not overly complex but hold your interest.
Time to Murder and Create has ratings and reviews. Bill said: Two-bit Shelves: crime-and-mystery, hardcase-writers, , block. Stoolie and Book 2 in the Scudder series introduces us to an old bud of Matt's, the Spinner. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. This is the third of Block's superb Matt Scudder series to appear (it was first issued by Dell in paperback back in.
I was glad to revisit Scudder. If I remember correctly, the series improved with each installment but each can be read as a stand-alone. Matthew Scudder is a fellow who does 'favors' for friends for 'gifts' such as money. Not really a P. That an ex-cop who resigned after 15 years on the force due to an accidential shooting by him of an innocent little girl.
That would make anyone re-examine thier lot in life. Scudder knows he drinks far to much. He can be forgiven though since he donates regularly to the money box in churchs. One religion, no, Hummm. One religion, no, the closest church will do and usually it's a Catholic church since they've got an open door most hours than most. Ok, Scudder, all's forgiven now, your sins. But all in all, a great read but Lawrence Block is such a top-notch writer with the creation of a number of characters who are flawed; seriously flawed, some of them.
Also, in he received the Gumshoe Lifetime Achievement Award. Reading the Scudder series in order; just one on my list of 10 series. Oh, such a hardship. Oct 19, James Joyce rated it really liked it Shelves: Two things I'm thinking. One is that Matt Scudder is a son-of-a-bitch. Don't take my word for it, he gets called that and other things enough times. He's not a knight in shining armor, though he is a hero.
Tarnished, dirty, mean and nasty, and honest enough to own up to all the above. A friend who is also a blackmailer of criminals and a not-so-decent human being is murdered by one of his victims. But he knew it was coming and, in preparation, he gifted Matt with all the blackmail evidence for Two things I'm thinking. But he knew it was coming and, in preparation, he gifted Matt with all the blackmail evidence for his three victims, and a large chunk of money.
And he knew Matt was the kind of guy who can turn a blind eye to almost any crime Especially when the murder victim was a friend however slim and asked him to solve it. The other thing I'm thinking is that these novels read like you're experiencing Scudder's life and these murders and attempts on his life count them off, as they occur are just events that happen, along the way.
But mostly, I'm just thinking that Matt Scudder is a son-of-a-bitch and it's cool that I enjoy his company Dec 27, Bobbi rated it it was amazing Shelves: Thank god there are a lot of books in it, because I think I'm in love. So tragic and guilty and badass. It doesn't even matter if he solves a case, just the blundering around threatening people, being sad and drinking is enough for me.
Anyway, this book is good. I can't think of anything else to say right now that isn't a spoiler.