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In Matt Scudder’s mind, money, power, and position elevate nobody above morality and the law. Now the ex-cop and unlicensed p.i. has been hired to prove that socialite Richard Thurman orchestrated the brutal murder of his beautiful, pregnant wife. During Scudder’s hard drinking years, he left a piece of his soul on every seedy corner of the Big Apple. But this case is more depraved and more potentially devastating than anything he experienced while floundering in the urban depths. Because this investigation is leading Scudder on a frightening grand tour of New York’s sex-for-sale underworld — where an innocent young life is simply a commodity to be bought and perverted … and then destroyed.
The winner of multiple Edgar, Shamus, and Maltese Falcon Awards, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Lawrence Block has elevated the detective novel to high art—combining grit with intelligence, suspense with stunning emotional complexity and power. And in unlicensed private investigator Matthew Scudder, he has created a character whose depth and stark humanity is unrivalled in contemporary fiction.
An ancient brotherhood meets annually in the back room of a swank Manhattan restaurant—a fraternity created in secret to celebrate life by celebrating its dead. But the past three decades have not been kind to the Club of 31. Matthew Scudder—ex-cop, ex-boozer—has known death in all its guises. Which is why he has been asked to investigate a baffling, thirty-year run of suicides and suspiciously random accidents that has thinned the ranks of this very select group of gentlemen. But Scudder has mortality…[more]
In this city, there is little sense and no rules. Those who fly the highest often come crashing down the hardest—like successful young Glenn Holtzmann, randomly blown away by a deranged derelict at a corner phone booth on Eleventh Avenue. Unlicensed p.i. Matt Scudder thinks Holtzmann was simply in the wrong place at the worst time. Others think differently—like Thomas Sadecki, brother of the crazed Vietnam vet accused of the murder, who wants Scudder to prove the madman innocent. But no one is truly innocent in this unmerciful metropolis—including Matther Scudder, whose curiosity and dedication are leading him to dark, unexplored places in his own heart…and to passions and revelations that could destroy everything he loves.
Nobody knows better than Matthew Scudder how far down a person can sink in this city. A young prostitute named Kim knew it also—and she wanted out. Maybe Kim didn’t deserve the life fate had dealt her. She surely didn’t deserve her death. The alcoholic ex-cop turned p.i. was supposed to protect her, but someone slashed her to ribbons on a crumbling New York City waterfront pier. Now finding Kim’s killer will be Scudder’s penance. But there are lethal secrets hiding in the slain hooker’s past that are far dirtier than her trade. And there are many ways of dying in this cruel and dangerous town—some quick and brutal…and some agonizingly slow.
Keller’s a hit man. For years now he’s had places to go and people to kill.
But enough is enough. He’s got money in the bank and just one last job standing between him and retirement. So he carries it out with his usual professionalism, and he heads home, and guess what?
One more job. Paid in advance, so what’s he going to do? Give the money back? In Des Moines, Keller stalks his designated target and waits for the client to give him the go-ahead. And one fine morning he’s picking out stamps for his collection (Sweden 1-5, the official reprints) at a shop in Urbandale when somebody guns down the charismatic governor of Ohio.
Back at his motel, Keller’s watching TV when they show the killer’s face. And there’s something all too familiar about that face…. …[more]
Twelve years ago, Matthew Scudder lied to a jury to put James Leo Motley behind bars. Now the ingenious psychopath is free. And the alcoholic ex-cop-turned-p.i. must pay dearly for his sins. Friends and former lovers—even strangers unfortunate enough to share Scudder’s name—are turning up dead. Because a vengeful maniac is determined not to rest until he’s driven his nemesis back to the bottle…and then to the boneyard.
This is a city that seduces dreamers…then eats their dreams.
Matthew Scudder understands the futility of his search for a longtime missing Midwestern innocent who wanted to be an actress in the vast meat-grinder called New York City. But her frantic father heard that Schudder is the best—and now the ex-cop-turned-p.i. is scouring the hell called Hell’s Kitchen looking for anything that might resemble a lead. And in this neighborhood of the lost, he’s finding love—and death—in the worst possible places.