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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Lawrence Block's best novels, 11 Sep 2000
"Even The Wicked" is another in the Matt Scudder series of novels. It is also one of the best ones.
Scudder is a man changing during this novel. His relationship with Elaine is becoming more and more serious all the time, and he is contemplating gaining a private detective licence to gain better business. He is then drawn in to protect a DA who the mysterious "Will Of The People" has targeted as his next victim. But that is only the start of the troubles for Scudder.
There are two plots to this novel, with their mixing occuring halfway through the novel. Block weaves this plots together effortlessly and this makes for an exceptionally well plotted novel. One of Block's great skills is his ability to carefully hide the villian of the novel and suprise the reader with his or her identity, and this is no exception with the true identity of the "Will Of The People" being something of a shock when it is revealed.
Scudder is still as stubourn as ever, and his prolonged investigation into the whole affair results in a very good novel. Scudder is a very believable character with a considerable backstory that has been logically developed over the previous twelve novels in the series. Although he has his condition as an alcoholic under control, there is still a trace of danger lurking in his character.
The main idea of the plot, that a mysterious individual takes the Will of the People and punishes those who have done wrong in the past and cannot legally be punished is a very intriguing one. It splits the public in the novel into those who believe that the Will was right to punish those for what they have done wrong and those who believe that even if they cannot be legally punished it is still wrong morally to take the law and enforce it in their own hands. This leads the reader to ponder the morality of the Will in a way that the characters in the novel do as well, and i'm sure that opinion will be divided in a simillar way.
Block's writing is exceptional, as always, and it takes a strong will to put this book down, unless the reader has finished it.
This book is a good entry into the series, and probably one of the best ones. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Page Turner, 18 April 2001
I'm in the process of discovering Scudder - After Bernie Rhodenbarr I was sure I would be disappointed but on this my third Scudder book I feel the character is starting to capture my imagination. Block is in my mind one of the best crime writers in the history of the genre. His characterisation, plot development and twisted resolutions added to his amazing ability to create dialog betwen his characters really make this a great read. Set in gritty New York its obvious Block knows the town well. The continuity in the characters means that even bit players in the stories have history and character of their own and each new book adds to the one before. If you enjoy Crime Fiction and great writing I can't reccomend this book strongly enough. One maxim of detective work to keep in mind when reading this is: eliminate all other options and whatever is left, however improbable is the answer (or something along those lines).
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE STALKING OF ADRIAN WHITFIELD, 14 Jun 2014
Greggorio! (Amazing Australia) - See all my reviews
The book opens with a scene of completely blissful domesticity with Scud and TJ enjoying some amateur boxing on the television and Elaine preparing dinner. Matthew Scudder is called in to protect a friend when death threats are made and of course our man Scud runs to assist a friend in need.

Mr Block is known for complex plots with entertaining dialogue and satisfying solutions. This book is no different. What is different however is the time it takes for the story to get itself going. Unusually for a Matthew Scudder novel, chapter one ends without the mandatory slam dunk which grabs the reader by his coat's lapels and doesn't let go until the book's end. So, too, chapter two ends on the relatively minor announcement of who is the next intended target of "The Will Of the People". Nothing shocking or surprising there. We knew that at the half way mark of the first chapter.

But the like the first class story teller that he is, Mr Block begins to entertain his readers in the way we all love at the start of chapter three. Things have become clear and concise by now and with Scudder in charge of proceedings, he is issuing orders left, right and centre. Whether or not these orders are followed, is up to the recipient, but they certainly make sense to the reader.

Is Will a cop? That is the first question that jumped into my vacant quarry of a brain. Clues (and red herrings) are thrown about in joyful abandon by Mr Block in a sure sign he is having fun with the story and your kindle will consequently overheat in page turning euphoria as you zip through the story with its heightened pace.

I am sitting here reading this fine mystery novel in between surfing my favourite Facebook pages. I see a post concerning the latest BATMAN DETECTIVE COMICS and when i return to my kindle, i see at the end of chapter three of EVEN THE WICKED, whose name comes up in conversation? You guessed it - Batman. I have no immediate inspiration concerning the meaning of this observation but by book's end I am sure to.

EVEN THE WICKED is a classic Matthew Scudder mystery novel. Scudder is still battling alcoholism, he still follows the word of his AA sponsor, and still is madly in love with Elaine. He is still a damn good PI. The WILL of the people had better start watching his step, as the Scud has just been hired by the next (assumed) target of the crazy philosopher and our hero Scudder has not been beaten yet.

Five stars for this beauty.

BFN Greggorio!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An alcoholic served dry and hard-boiled, 15 Feb 2013
Dr. Sylvia Knight (England) - See all my reviews
One of my favourite Scudders. Light on the violence compared with previous books, and the weight of his alcoholism presses on him less, but is still there in the background. The twisty turny plot is a joy.

The entire Matt Scudder series adds another dimension to detective stories: not just whodunnit, whydunnit and willhegetthegirl, but willhepourthedrink and willhedrinkit. All this packaged up in a love letter to New York in all its dirt and corruption. Probably my third favourite after "When the Sacred Ginmill Closes" and "Eight Million Ways to Die".
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