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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scudder in bad company, 9 April 2002
By A Customer
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This review is from: A Walk Among The Tombstones (A Matt Scudder Mystery) (Paperback)
A strange one, this, a Matt Scudder book I felt uncomfortable with. Mostly because, I suppose, that his client this time is a drug dealer who's wife has been kidnapped. Scudder isn't totally happy working for him, and, despite Block's attempt to characterise him as a cuddly, family man drug dealer, menaced by totally evil psychotics, neither am I.
That aside, though, this is one of the most tautly written of the Scudder series (which is high praise indeed) with a real edge-of-the-seat climax.
And if you don't read it, you'll never find out how Matt got free long distance calling from his hotel room.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, effective writing, good plot, 10 July 2002
By 
Huck Flynn "huckleberry" (northern ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: A Walk Among The Tombstones (A Matt Scudder Mystery) (Paperback)
This is my first meeting with Matt Scudder and a very pleasurable read. He's a fully rounded, sympathetic and believeable hero and generally sticks to real sleuthing, legwork and deduction to sort things out. There are some good moral and ethical debates and a fair bit of tension as he hunts down the ruthless and sadistic kidnapper/killers preying on the familiies of drug dealers but the action avoids the gung ho melodrama of some lesser examples of this genre. A worthy successor to the mantle of Philip Marlowe and a sort of NY City version of Connelly's Harry Bosch. Even the introduction of the obligatory computer hackers to get inside information is sensibly handled and the supporting characters are well drawn. I'm looking forward to the other books in the series. Well done Block !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tenth in the series, but better than ever, 14 April 2008
By 
Annabel Gaskell "gaskella2" (Nr Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Walk Among The Tombstones (A Matt Scudder Mystery) (Paperback)
This is the tenth in the series of Matt Scudder novels from Block, and they keep on getting better. The subsidiary characters are starting to have lives of their own, and Scudder, the ex-police, ex-drunk, maverick detective is getting more complex a personality with each novel. This one sees him finally establishing a firm relationship with ex-hooker Elaine, which makes a good sub-plot. The main story this time is the hunt for a particularly gruesome kidnapper and serial killer whose latest victim is the wife of a rich drug dealer. The dealer pays the ransom demand, and his wife is returned to him - dismembered! He can't go to the police, so persuades Scudder to take up the chase to avenge his wife's death. Absolutely gripping.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly plotted fascinating detective fiction..., 29 May 1996
By A Customer
Lawrence Block is at the top of his game here. The
plot crackles with moral questions. Make no mistake
about it this is a dark, brooding book but it is
also fascinating. I honestly could not put the book
down. Block excels in probing those grey areas of
morality, his characters are real and we can easily
sit long into the night wondering what we would do
under their dire circumstances. Highly recommended but
not for the faint of heart...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A STORY FOR THE AGES...., 9 Feb 2014
By 
Greggorio! (Amazing Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Walk Among The Tombstones (A Matt Scudder Mystery) (Paperback)
By immersing myself in this fantastic novel, I finally get the chance to return to the universe in which my reading became serious. The Matthew Scudder series by arguably the genre's finest ever contributor, Lawrence Block. If you are new to Matthew Scudder, you owe it to yourself to read them in order. I know that is a big ask but the effort will be worth it. On to the book...

The reader suspects that something nasty is bound to happen to Mrs Francine Khoury as soon as the blue van starts its engine and begins to follow the Toyota Camry to the supermarket. Camry's don't get followed by blue vans in order to hand out public duty salutations. Mr Block's writing style, even from the beginning of the book - is so well crafted and finely tuned that suspense and even terror start to build up in the stomach of the reader as you progress from page one. Two stories are developing, running like express trains on parallel tracks - one featuring Francine Khoury, blissfully unaware of the horrible fate that is about to visited upon her, and the other story focuses on our man Scud as he enjoys an evening date with girlfriend Elaine. Even Scudder feels a coming tempest in his guts, in the air he breathes and even the sight of the moon in the sky above New York City feels wrong. Of course these two separate trains are destined to collide and that is when the s*** really hits the fan.

Mr Block's writing skills have always been above question. His genius lies in his ability to tell stories and create characters that resonate with the world and lives that we all lead. Characters from one book often reappear in later books as fan favourites and are sometimes used as cornerstones from which the plot evolves. Emotional attachment is therefore a given. We see the flaws of Scudder and as each book finishes we can revel in his success and growth toward salvation and even redemption.

With the Scudder series, Mr Block has created yet another sub-genre within the mystery field. New-age Noir. Each book is dark, gritty, realistic and sometimes very violent expressions of life in one of the most dangerous cities on the planet. Phillip Marlowe has evolved and extrapolated into a 20th century super hero. Throughout the series, Scudder has managed to grow and evolve but has retained some flaws and therefore his humanity. His ability to resonate with the readers and fans of the series has never been stronger than it is here and the legend of The Scud will only grow to become a classic series of must read novels that will live on forever.

BFN Greggorio!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tiptoe Through the Tombstones, 13 Nov 2013
By 
This review is from: A Walk Among The Tombstones (A Matt Scudder Mystery) (Paperback)
Crime fiction is one of the most popular genres out there and almost every author tries to bring some sort of gimmick to their novel to make it stand out. However, if written well, a crime novel should hold up, even when stripped down to the very basics. `A Walk Among the Tombstones' by Lawrence Block is a great example of this; a solid crime story that tells the simple tale of a man trying to track down some very bad people. That man is Matt Scudder, recovering alcoholic and former detective. When a drug dealer's wife is kidnapped and returned less than whole, Matt is hired to find the culprits, but what will happen to them if he does?

Matt Scudder is a fantastic character, all grizzled determination and abstinence. There are few thrills to him, what you see is what you get. Therefore, the solving of the crime in `Tombstones' is a realistic reflection of how a PI would go about things. Tracking down leads, hunting around for phone numbers etc. You genuinely get the feeling that the case would be solved in this fashion. The crime itself is a very dark one and adds real edge to proceedings. This is more than just some professional kidnappings, things are far more disturbing and Matt needs to get them off the streets. How this is done plagues him. Does he allow the victim's families revenge, or go to the police? By living in the grey between legal and illegal, Matt Scudder is a character with more depth than most PIs.

In lesser hands the alcoholic aspects of Matt's character would be just another cliché ridden detective story, but Block really invests in it. Scudder is not a man who has a small problem with drink, but a recovering alcoholic who regularly goes to AA meetings within in the book. His investigations have to fit around his meetings. `Tombstones' is a very good slice of crime fiction that may prove a little too simple for some. There is also a section on computer hacking that is not only dated, but not brilliantly written. The rest of the book will appeal greatly to crime fiction lovers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Walk Among The Tombstones by Lawrence Block, 1 Sep 2012
By 
G. D. Pelling "glencando" (Surrey UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: A Walk Among The Tombstones (A Matt Scudder Mystery) (Paperback)
I bought this book after reading a recommendation about the author Lawence Block in an Ian Rankin Rebus story. I will be reading more of Mr. Block's books in the future. A good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A ripper of a re-read!, 6 Mar 2012
This review is from: A Walk Among The Tombstones (A Matt Scudder Mystery) (Paperback)
I am a sucker for a cracking character, often waiting months for a new book with an old familiar face.
After getting a kindle for Christmas I couldn't wait to get reading but sadly none of my classic detectives were new on the shelf - until, that is i saw this book. Thinking it was one of Block's that i somehow missed i was on it like a shot. Uploading was quick but even quicker was my realisation that i have not only read this before, actually had the hardback on the shelf not 10 feet from me!
While disappointed at first I quickly fell,in love with the raw and often stomach wrenching scenes of violence, the wonderful walk through imagery of New York's neighbourhoods and it's unique inhabitants.
Make no mistake this is a dark and menacing book with some genuine bad guys, even the good guys are a little bent but what a brilliant ending - worthy of a Charles Bronson revenge sequel.
My re-read, albeit a mistake, was well worth it and only served to strengthen my relationship with Matt Scudder and the marvellous world he is master of.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kick Ass!, 5 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Now, this isn't exactly literature, so I'm not giving this five stars over Dickens or anything, but for hard-boiled, raw, simple prose, Scudder kicks ass, and Block deserves all his accolades.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Lawrence Block Novel Ever?, 13 May 1999
By A Customer
Lawrence Block never fails to entertain, amuse, and sometimes horrify, in this novel about a narcotics dealer and the abduction of his wife. Being a man with sufficient funds, the narcotics dealer pays the subsequent random demands after a bit of haggling. But what turns up in the trunk of an abandoned motor car is not what he bargained for. Matthew Scudder, Lawrence Block's ex-cop turned Private Investigator, battling alcoholic, is the man hired to discover exactly what has happened. What has happened is a grizzly turn of events, which is just one in a line of abominable crimes. Being an avid reader of Lawrence Block's material including the highly entertaining Burglar series. I would say that for a read that you will 'find hard to put down', this Matthew Scudder outing tops the list of the best Block novels and dare I say crime fiction. If you like your reading material fast paced, with a vice like grip. Then this is a book, which you will find hard to beat.
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A Walk Among The Tombstones (A Matt Scudder Mystery)
A Walk Among The Tombstones (A Matt Scudder Mystery) by Lawrence Block (Paperback - 7 Dec 2000)
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