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All the Flowers Are Dying: A Matthew Scudder Crime Novel (Matthew Scudder Mysteries)by Lawrence Block
Synopses & Reviews
In his sixteenth Matthew Scudder novel, New York Times-bestselling author Lawrence Block takes the award-winning series to a new level of suspense and a new depth of characterization. Building on the critical and commercial success of Hope to Die, Block puts Scudder — and the reader — at the very edge of the abyss.
Scudder, a complex character who has grown and aged in real time, confronts the implacable challenge of mortality. But he must also tackle a determined, relentless, and icily inhuman adversary, perhaps the most unforgettable villain Block has ever created.
A man in a Virginia prison awaits execution for three hideous murders he swears, in the face of irrefutable evidence, he did not commit. A psychologist who claims to believe the convict spends hours with the man in his death row cell, and ultimately watches in the gallery as the lethal injection is administered. His work completed, the psychologist heads back to New York City to attend to unfinished business.
Meanwhile, Scudder has just agreed to investigate the ostensibly suspicious online lover of an acquaintance. It seems simple enough. At first. But when people start dying and the victims are increasingly closer to home, it becomes clear that a vicious killer is at work. And the final targets may be Matt and Elaine Scudder.
The suspense is breathtaking, the outcome never certain. A series that has garnered no end of awards — the Edgar, the Shamus, the Philip Marlowe, the Maltese Falcon — has ascended to a dizzying new height. With this novel, Lawrence Block, who recently received the Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement from the Crime Writers Association of the United Kingdom, is at the very top of his form.
"Matt Scudder, bestseller Block's extraordinary private detective, has been around for almost 30 years, and if his aging has been neither gentle nor graceful, it's certainly been eventful. In his stellar 16th outing (after 2001's Hope to Die), the 60-something Scudder proves to be as tough and resilient as ever when faced with the slickest, sickest killer to ever test his mettle. Fans won't be surprised that the killer is linked to the unresolved murders of Hope to Die or that Elaine and Scudder may become the fiend's target. The narrative smoothly shifts between Scudder's point-of-view and the thoughts and actions of the killer, whose ingenuity, daring and pure viciousness sear the pages. Aware of the danger but without a clue to the person behind the threat, Scudder and Elaine are forced into a protective siege while Scudder uses all his skills to probe the mystery. Series fans will welcome the familiar characters and places that have become such an important part of Scudder's universe: TJ, Mick Ballou, Grogan's Bar, the AA meeting spots. Add them together with some brilliant twists and one gets a thrilling, satisfying concoction brewed by a master storyteller in top form. Agent, Daniel Baror at Baror International. (Mar. 1) FYI: MWA Grandmaster Block has won numerous Edgar and Shamus awards and recently began his first full-time job in 40 years as an executive story consultant on the ESPN series Tilt!, which debuted in January." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Another powerful meditation on mortality in thriller's clothing." Kirkus Reviews
"The way Block brings together the disparate parts of his plot into one electrifying whole is testimony to his extraordinary skills....The suspense is at times so acute you might forget to breathe....
"In Flowers, a particularly strong effort, Scudder matches wits with a serial killer who makes Hannibal Lecter look like a lightweight. One caveat: Some of the torture scenes are brutal, so don't read this on a full stomach. (Grade: A)" Entertainment Weekly
"Block, who couldn't write a dull scene even if he tried to, is in fine form here....[Block]
"Along with an intriguing plot and plenty of thrills, Block has given readers a hero for the ages and a villain to match. Put it all together and All the Flowers Are Dying is yet another triumphant entry in this fine and memorable series." Philadelphia Inquirer
"Those who have never read one of Block's Scudder novels can pick up All the Flowers are Dying without trepidation....Longtime readers will certainly find it a welcome addition to the Scudder mythos. Recommended." BookReporter.com
"Although Scudder's hunt for the killer turns into a companionable tour of colorful neighborhoods, his thoughts on the city run deep and reflect real feelings about its humanity." Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
The New York Times-bestselling author is back with another fast-paced novel rich with mystery, atmosphere, and characterization.
About the Author
A Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, Lawrence Block is a four-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe and Shamus Awards, as well as a recipient of prizes in France, Germany, and Japan. The author of more than fifty books and numerous short stories, he is a devout New Yorker who spends much of his time traveling.
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