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Hope To Die [Mass Market Paperback]

Lawrence Block
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 17 2002 Matthew Scudder Mysteries

The city caught its collective breath when upscale couple Byrne and Susan Hollander were slaughtered in a brutal home invasion. Now, a few days later, the killers themselves have turned up dead behind the locked door of a Brooklyn hellhole -- one apparently slain by his partner in crime who then took his own life.

There's something drawing Matthew Scudder to this 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. No one but Scudder even suspects he exists. And his worst fear is that the guy is just getting started ...

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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

First brought to our attention 25 years ago, Matthew Scudder is back at work, investigating the particularly unpleasant murder of a wealthy West Side couple.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Birth of a serial killer March 1 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When a young woman finds her parents brutally murdered, the NYPD track the killers to an apartment near Coney Island.Their two bodies are found a week after the first murder, an apparent murder-suicide.Matt Scudder, a retired cop and de-licensed P.I, is somehow dissatisfied by the murder scenes, feeling that they look too "pat".With the approval of the daughter of the murdered first couple, and the assistance of his street smart assistant TJ, Matt follows a computer generated trail to get close to the murderer. Mr.Block leads the reader on a cleverly laid red herring trail first of all and then finally to the realization that this is the work of a psycopath who is getting his kicks from the sheer thrill of killing someone. Lawrence Block is a very stylish writer with such an easy flow of words that his book kept me up reading, far too late into the night.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a reader from pasadena Jan. 26 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I absolutely love the Mathew Scudder character. I have read all the books in the series and find it to be one of the best. I tend to like mysteries that have great character development and insights about life, human nature, etc. This is one of the only series that I have read in this genre that I actually highlight great passages in every book. I love how Block intersperses Scudder's AA meetings and his struggles with his addiction with the plot of the story. Scudder is not as edgy and certainly more respectable than he used to be, but I still enjoy his story. I found this to be a really good book. The best scudder book, in my opinion is Eight Million Ways to Die.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Best Scudder in Quite Awhile Jan. 20 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Most longtime fans of the Matt Scudder series should be pleased with "Hope to Die". The writing is stronger than the more recent Scudder novels, which seemed like hastily constructed assembly line jobs to fulfill a contract. The writing is not as good as the early Scudder novels, but this is a satisfying read, nonetheless. Stylistically, it had a few too many asides and tangents, although some of these help in introducing characters or bringing us up-to-date on them. The ending is a bit of a let down and a bit formulatic (I won't spoil it further), but I don't read these books for plot, as much as for the characters. Scudder's kids get established as adults with problems of their own & I'm guessing we'll be seeing them again in the future, which is all for the good.
Now, if only he'd do a new Bernie "Burglar" Rhodenberr--just leave out the guy who reminds of Inspector Lugar from the old Barney Miller tv series.
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1.0 out of 5 stars This book made me . . . Hope to Die Dec 23 2002
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Scudder's Back! Dec 6 2002
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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4.0 out of 5 stars The 15th Scudder Novel is a Hit Dec 5 2002
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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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The 15th Scudder Novel is a Hit
Byrne and Susan Hollander are brutally murdered after returning home from an event at Lincoln Center. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2002 by FictionAddiction.NET
3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
Lawrence Block is my favorite detective author, and, as others have said, I couldn't wait to read this newest entry in the Scudder series. I was really disappointed. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope You Read It!
Matt Scudder's entirely credible humanity continues to engage us as he confronts inhumanity once more. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2002 by Plom de Nume
4.0 out of 5 stars Block re-enters Serial Killer Country
Lawrence Block has written about serial killers before, but I don't think I remember a Scudder book with a serial killer. Read more
Published on May 24 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the Scudder I've always loved
Scudder is aging gracefully, which may be why I didn't love this book. He is still virile, still like a dog with a bone, but he uses different resources to maintain control. Read more
Published on April 28 2002 by David Rain
3.0 out of 5 stars Slowing Down
Scudder is showing his age. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but takes some adjustment on the reader's part. Little action on Matt's part and the non-ending is a disappointment. Read more
Published on April 6 2002 by John Bowes
3.0 out of 5 stars how I wish it is 5 stars
Let me start by saying that I have read all Scudder novels and half of the thief series. I like his style and I search through amazon for whichever novels still available on line... Read more
Published on March 22 2002 by MR. TAI KIAN BUN
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