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Even The Wicked [Mass Market Paperback]

Lawrence Block
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Feb. 1 1998 Matthew Scudder Mysteries
Matthew Scudder knows that justice is an elusive commodity in the big city, where a harmless man can be shot dead in a public place criminals fly free through holes in a tattered legal system. But now a vigilante is roaming among the millions, executing those he fees deserve to die. He calls himself "The Will of the People"--an ingenious serial killer who announces his specific murderous intentions to the media before carrying through on his threats. A child molester, a Mafia don, a violent anti-abortionist -- even the protected and untouchable are being ruthlessly erased by New York's latest celebrity avenger.

Scudder knows that no one is innocent -- but who among us has the right to play God? It is a question that will haunt the licensed p.i. on his journey through the bleak city grays, as he searches for the sanity in urban madness. . .and for a frighteningly efficient killer who can do the impossible.

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From Amazon

This is far from the best of Lawrence Block's landmark Scudder series-too little action or suspense, too much domestic bliss--so I'll just use its publication as an excuse to introduce newcomers to some past glories. The best of them all is still When the Sacred Ginmill Closes, definitely on my short list of the 100 Best Mysteries. But close behind are such other Scudder classics as A Long Line of Dead Men, A Dance at the Slaughterhouse, The Devil Knows You're Dead, Eight Million Ways to Die, In the Midst of Death, A Ticket to the Boneyard, and A Walk Among the Tombstones. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Marriage to his old flame, Elaine, seems to have mellowed Block's veteran PI, Matt Scudder. He still continues to get his man with a combination of doggedness and occasional flashes of inspiration, but his life has become too cozy to make him the absorbing companion he used to be. Quiet domestic evenings spent talking things over with Elaine in Block's patented delightful dialogue alternate with thoughtful discussions, in this case, with the two perpetrators in the book, who give themselves up without a murmur. Voices are never raised; not even a roscoe barks. It's all too civilized, as if Scudder's formerly gritty world were moving closer to that of Block's much slighter series hero, the daffy burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr. There are two plots here, ingeniously intertwined: one involves a serial killer taking out notable bad guys to the delight of the New York press, particularly a pushy columnist who gets to publish the man's gloating notes; the other concerns the mysterious killing, in broad daylight on a park bench, of a friend of a friend of Scudder's who's in the last stages of AIDS and has a complicated insurance arrangement. As usual, Block's ingenuity in finding new motives for crime is endless, his narration polished, his entertainment value high. What is missing here is the violence, or the constant threat of it, that made Scudder's earlier appearances memorable. The ending, involving Scudder's streetwise sidekick TJ, is downright sentimental. Brace up, Block!
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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On a Tuesday night in August I was sitting in the living room with TJ, watching two guys hit each other on one of the Spanish-language cable channels, and enjoying the fresh air more than the fight. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Scudder without purpose Aug. 9 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have but one more Scudder book to read to be all caught up. Have LOVED them all, even though I am not a "crime/mystery" novel afficiando -- ALL EXCEPT this one. Took it on a LONG plane ride, expecting the usual Block thriller. BORING and definitely forced - must have been a little writer's block and deadline due.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Scudder Gets Way Too Satisfied Aug. 4 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Matthew Scudder series is one of my favorite private eye fiction series (I've read all 14 novels). Unfortunately, "Even the Wicked" is easilly the least enjoyable of the bunch. Author Lawrence Block deserves credit for allowing Scudder's character to grow and mature over the years; going from down-and-out alcoholic to struggling AA member to reasonably stable married man while still maintaining an edge. At least, he had until "Wicked." The three interwoven storylines are pure New York City (more so, in fact, than any past entry in the series). But they have absolutely no edge to them. At no time does Scudder seem remotely in physical danger. Instead, he turns into super-sleath, solving high profile cases that are baffling entire police departments. Also, his relationship with Elaine, who he is now married to, has grown stale.
Maybe Block sensed these problems and that is why he attempted to give the next (and currently most recent) entry in the series, "Everybody Dies," much more of an edge. If you are not familiar with how great Scudder can be, I implore to to start elsewhere in the series. The best two are arguably, "Eight Million Ways to Die," and "When the Sacred Ginmill Closes."
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5.0 out of 5 stars i disagree....... March 21 2001
By liam
Format:Mass Market Paperback
...with you people. i may not have read any other matthew scudder mysteries, but this is one of my favorite books. i think ill read it again some time soon. get this book. dont listen to the other people. they dont know squat. i wouldnt reccomend this book to kids under 15. this has a lot of profanity in it. even tho im 13, i dont think other poeple my age should read it. oh.... wait...... no i dont. who cares. this is good literature. screw it all, im going to read this again.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Two mysteries for the price of one :)) April 11 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Scudder continues to deliver the goods, but at times seems to be only a shadow of the man he used to be. Still, this is a good read and actually concentrates on two (non-related! ) mysteries. The final page is heart-breaking, sincere and even this coldhearted reviewer felt a leeeetle bit of sting in his eyes! This contrasts nicely with earlier Scudder novels, which usually ended on a blunt, bleak note and goes to demonstrates the meaningfullness of the hard-boiled PI's new life. Good stuff!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Far from being his best Scudder novel Dec 2 1998
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Matthew Scudder is Lawrence Block's remarkable private investigator. He's a former NYPD detective who left the force after an accident left a child dead in a crossfire. Scudder is a sober alcoholic "Even the Wicked " is not as well as written as the 12 previous Matt Scudder novels. In the past I found in difficult to put a Scudder novel down. This one was difficult to pick up. It failed to keep my interest. I have read them all with the exception of "Everybody Dies," Block's latest in the series and "In the Midst of Death," one of his earlier ones. In "Even the Wicked" we find a vigilante is writing letters to the New York papers. Each time he targets some person by name he makes good on his promise. He calls himself "the will of the people: and is nicked named "will" by the media. Eventually the mystery is solved. Elaine, how Scudder's wife, returns in this novel and so does TJ the street smart teen that has been assisting Scudder in the past few novels. Although I didn't enjoy this novel I'm looking forward to the two in the series I haven't read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to standards Oct. 4 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think Lawrence Block is a great writer, but this book failed to hold my interest. Usually I have a difficult time putting Block's books down; this one, on the other hand, I had a difficult time keeping up.
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