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The couple walk home, enter their beautiful brownstone, and are murdered by a pair of thieves who were lurking in the darkness, waiting for their return.

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This disturbs Matt partially because he thinks he might have known them, for they were, after all, often at the same events, and they only lived less than a mile apart. He and his wife, too, walked home that night, and such awful things could easily have happened to them.


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His thoughts are not satisfied when the police find the killers, the loot unsold, in an apartment. One is murdered by his partner, the other dead by his own hand. Lia thinks that her cousin Kristen, the Hollander's year-old daughter, is the mastermind behind the murders. Kristen had just recently taken up residence in her parent's home, needing a place to live after a bad break-up. It doesn't take long for him to be convinced that she's innocent, and he becomes worried that she may be the next target.

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Most murder mysteries start off, well, with a murder. As does this one Since the story is narrated in the first person, he can not claim any real first hand knowledge of the events. So, he starts off telling us that the couple may have met at the fountain before coming upstairs, or that he may have gone and picked her up, but in either case they got there in time for drinks. Scudder knows that, because he thinks he might have seen them He knows the details, how the husband was shot, how Susan was assaulted before her throat was slashed The gentleness of the end image, and the innate mercy and charity that that those who strive to be decent had left me all teary eyed, and I'd only been reading for a handful of minutes.

The hunt for the third, unknown entity is what takes up the rest of the story. Matt, who's been a detective for many years, even if he only does it in his spare time now, has a keen understanding of how investigations work, and slowly, but surely tracks down the killer.

All the Flowers Are Dying (Matthew Scudder Series #16)

He makes some pretty awesome leaps in logic to get there, but they are entirely believable. The killer is inventive, terribly blood thirsty, and just a tad insane. In a couple of scenes he does things that require such guts to pull off, it really creeps you out when he is successful. Block's prose has a wonderful flow to it.

"All the Flowers are Dying"

Matt, as he tells the story, has a voice that is sensible and wise, and sometimes he paints very beautiful images. Even when they are slightly horrific, there is a crystal-cut quality to them, and it makes this mystery an especially pleasurable read. Read a chapter excerpt from Hope to Die at MostlyFiction.

There's something drawing Matthew Scudder to a case that the cops have quickly and eagerly closed: a nagging suspicion that a third man is involved, a cold, diabolical puppet master who manipulates his two accomplices, then cuts their strings when he's done with them. A brilliant, savage, patient monster has unfinished business in the big city Facing his demons in his first year of sobriety, Matthew Scudder finds himself on the trail of a killer.

Matthew Scudder has appeared in shorter fiction, and all 11 novelettes, short stories, and vignettes are here in a single rich volume. Email Address. Other Books in "Matthew Scudder Novels". The Sins of the Fathers. Time to Murder and Create.

All the Flowers Are Dying (Matthew Scudder, book 16) by Lawrence Block

In the Midst of Death. A Stab in the Dark.

Eight Million Ways to Die. When the Sacred Ginmill Closes. Out on the Cutting Edge. A Ticket to the Boneyard. A Dance at the Slaughterhouse.

Can a Saved Person Live a Life of Sin and Remain Saved? - Charles Stanley

A Walk Among the Tombstones. The Devil Knows You're Dead.