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Hope To Die Mass Market Paperback – Oct 10 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (Oct. 10 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780061030970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061030970
  • ASIN: 006103097X
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #273,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Unlicensed PI Matthew Scudder returns after a three-year absence to investigate the murder of a wealthy couple savagely slain in their Manhattan townhouse. Matt's now 62, and his age shows in this relatively sedate outing. There's less violence than in many cases past, and the urban melancholy that pervaded his earlier tales has dissipated, replaced by a mature reckoning with the unending cycle of life and death. The mystery elements are strong. To the cops, the case is open-and-shut: the perps have been found dead, murder/suicide, in Brooklyn, with loot from the townhouse in their possession. Matt enters the scene when his assistant, TJ, introduces him to the cousin of the dead couple's daughter; the cousin suspects the daughter of having engineered the killings for the inheritance. At loose ends, Matt digs in, quickly rejecting the daughter as a suspect but uncovering evidence pointing to a mastermind behind the murders. Block sounds numerous obligatory notes from Scudder tales past the AA meetings, the tithing of Matt's income, cameo appearances by Matt's love interest, Elaine, and his friend, Irish mobster Mick Ballou and he adds texture with some familial drama involving Matt's sons and ex-wife. His prose is as smooth as aged whiskey, as always, and the story flows across its pages. It lacks the visceral edge and heightened emotion of many previous Scudders, however, and the ending seems patly aimed at a sequel. This is a solid mystery, a fine Block, but less than exceptional. (Nov.)Forecast: All Blocks sell and Scudder's return will do particularly well, especially with the attendant major ad/promo, including a 17-city author tour. Simultaneous Harper Audio and Harper large print edition.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This is the 15th Matthew Scudder novel in 25 years, and readers of Block's noir series know what to expect. It's all here: a perfect evocation of the sights, sounds, and smells of New York City; trips to AA meetings in church basements; Mick Ballou's bar; and the recurring characters such as Ballou, the streetwise TJ, and Elaine, the civilizing influence. In this latest outing, Matt and Elaine attend a "Mostly Mozart" benefit concert at Lincoln Center. At the same concert are a couple who are later murdered in their Upper West Side apartment. Then, the "murderers" are themselves killed in Brooklyn. Without anyone really asking him to, and for want of something better to do, Scudder starts to pick at this case until the whole story unravels before him to a startling conclusion. Every so often, the real murderer narrates a chapter, which adds a cat-and-mouse element. But those looking for fast action will not find it here the pace is leisurely, and characters and set pieces are almost as important as plot. Recommended, especially for public libraries, where readers will ask for it.
- Fred Gervat, Concordia Coll. Lib., Bronxville, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Patterson's ploy of leaving a cliff hanger at the end of the last Cross was frustrating but in the long run effective.
It was difficult waiting for Hope To Die but it certainly built the tension and suspense to the max.
When it arrived I dived in immediately and read it in record time.
We knew of course the family would be rescued but even so Patterson planted seeds of doubt along the way to keep us guessing.
With each Cross novel Patterson hones his skills and has become a master of the craft. That's what keeps us coming back for more.
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Format: Hardcover
Sadly Mr. Patterson will most likely never achieve the excellence of the very early Alex Cross novels; they have been slipping in recent years, perhaps not so surprising if you keep in mind that the first Alex Cross novel came out in 1993 and this is #22 in the series. That in itself is an accomplishment on the part of the author to be able to keep a character ongoing for over 20+ years.

Alex has become more of a family man rather than the super cop/detective we first met in "Along Came a Spider", "Kiss the Girls" and so on. But then again, as it is in real life, even a fictional super cop must age in order to appear genuine.

"Hope to Die" has the short clipped chapters which have become a trademark of Mr. Patterson and I think it works so well in a suspense story. As a long time devoted Alex Cross fan this was a quick, easy, OK read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading "Hit List", I just had to read more Lawrence Block. I thoroughly hated "Hope to Die." It was slow and boring. The attempt to create a rich, believable character got in the way of the story's flow. There was too much of Scudder's monologue (in his head) when he debated what he should do next. It was something like this: "I should get up and do that. No, maybe I shouldn't. Yes, I think I will. Oh well, I'll just have another cup of coffee." Why should we be bothered with his thought processes: this is a mystery novel, no a psychoanalytic treastise. Another thing, the side stories (regarding his ex-wife's funeral, and the relationship with his sons) also got in the way of the flow of the story. And, what they did to round out Scudder as a character did not make up for impeding the story. I should be fair and say that I usually have a bias against books written in first person. But, this one was much more of a chore for me to read than most. The only parts of the book that interested me were the chapters written in italics -- the ones that showed what the villain was doing. Unlike most of the book, that part was written in third peson. Finally, the end of the book did not justify the week that it took me to trudge through. Not to give it away to anyone who hasn't read it but, did Scudder capture his man?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lawrence Block has been around for a while, writing a number of successful series. Although many of his books are good to great, I have found that his most recent books in his other series (Bernie Rhodenbarr, Keller, Evan Tanner) have been a little weaker than in the past, this book - featuring his best character, Matthew Scudder - shows that Block still has it.
Scudder is a constantly evolving character. In the earliest novels, he was a standard hard-boiled private eye, but soon he came to terms with his inner demons (in particular, his alcoholism) and learned how to reconstruct his life. Now, he is sixty-two, not as inclined to get in dangerous situations, but still out to expose murderers.
This case deals with a couple who is killed in a home invasion robbery. Soon, the killers are themselves dead in a murder-suicide, but Scudder, when drawn into the case, begins to think there is a third man. Along with his investigation, he is involved with a subplot involving the death of his ex-wife and his relationship with his estranged sons.
Block is always at his best when writing about Scudder, and this case is no exception. Admittedly, this book works best if you have read the others in the series, but even as a standalone, this is a good novel.
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Format: Hardcover
Byrne and Susan Hollander are brutally murdered after returning home from an event at Lincoln Center. People are shocked at the deaths and can't believe it happened to such a powerful, wealthy couple in their own home.
Just a few days later, the case is closed after the two killers are found shot to death across town. One shooting his partner and then turning the gun on himself.
But Matt Scudder has his own ideas about what really happened. He suspects a third person is involved, making very calculated moves to cover his or her tracks.
Although Scudder's an unlicensed private investigator, he works through the circumstances surrounding the murder. Just why did it happen? What was the real motivation? Scudder explores all of the possibilities, working them out in a logical fashion right before the reader's eyes.
Byrne and Susan's niece halfway expects her cousin Kristin, the daughter of the victims, was motivated by money. Or could it be Kristin's ex-boyfriend? Scudder talks with family and friends of the Hollanders but can't quite connect the dots to trace the real killer.
As he tries to solve the case, a murderer hides in the shadows. Watching. Waiting. And killing those who could expose the true identity and reasons behind the murders.
"Hope to Die" is Lawrence Block's 15th Matthew Scudder novel. Even newcomers to the series won't have any trouble following this story. Block does an excellent job of catching longtime fans up to their favorite characters while introducing new fans to these same characters at the same time.
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