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May 26 , 2008

A Walk Among the Tombstones

Matthew Scudder, #10


The basis of the recent film starring Liam Neeson, A Walk Among the Tombstones is Matthew Scudder's tenth appearance. He's hired by a drug dealer whose wife has been savagely murdered, and Scudder's pursuit of the faceless killers leads him on a chase through Manhattan and Brooklyn, with an unforgettable denouement in Green-Wood Cemetery. TJ, Scudder's streetwise young friend, is on hand, and Scudder's girlfriend Elaine plays a vital role, even as their relationship has its challenges.

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Characters refusing to talk? Plot plodding along? Where do good ideas come from anyway? In this wonderfully practical volume, two-time Edgar Award-winning novelist Lawrence Block takes an inside look at writing as a craft and as a career.From studying the market, to mastering self-discipline and "creative procrastination," through coping with…

Publishers Weekly: "Despite their dark titles (the words Slaughterhouse and Boneyard figured in the previous two), Block's splendid, award-winning Matt Scudder novels are by no means unrelievedly bleak. His latest-as well as offering the customary skillful plotting, adroit pacing and sure sense of New York character-features a wry humor all its own, along with a particularly ingratiating and convincing pair of computer hackers. The premise is grim, certainly: a pair of men who prey murderously on women progress to kidnapping the womenfolk of drug dealers and demanding huge ransoms. Former alcoholic PI Scudder-now going to more AA meetings than ever-reluctantly agrees to help one dealer, a Lebanese, after his wife is killed by the kidnappers. Slowly and methodically he discerns a pattern in the mayhem. With the help of his erstwhile police colleagues, his black Times Square sidekick TJ and his call-girl sweetheart, Elaine, Scudder tightens the net on the culprits. When they seize the daughter of a Russian dealer, he is ready for the showdown. Block isn't big on action, though when it comes it is swift, vivid and horribly convincing; his Scudder books are built on character, atmosphere, crackling dialogue and a great deal of brooding-the taste for them is addictive. An equal of Elmore Leonard and Robert Parker, Block deserves similar acclaim."

Other reviews:

"This is fantastic stuff, and a must for fans of gritty, realistic suspense." - My Bookish Ways

"A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES is indispensable reading for all crime fiction fans. Add it to your “must read” pile immediately." - Bookgasm

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