by Lawrence Block
Hope to Die
William Morrow, October, 2001.
Hardcover, 336 pages.
After attending a charity concert at Lincoln Center, Bryne and Susan Hollander decide to walk home to their $3 million Manhattan brownstone. When they arrive home, their lives are shattered when they walk in on a burglary. The couple is beaten, the wife raped and they are both murdered in a truly horrific manner. The police find the perpetrators with the stolen items, but the burglars are both dead in an apparent murder-suicide. Unlicensed p.i. Matt Scudder gets interested in the case when he is approached by the daughter of the slain couple. Scudder and his street-wise sidekick TJ look into the seemingly simple case, and find evidence of another murderer entirely -- one who may have killed a number of times before.
It's hard to believe that readers have been following the life of Matthew Scudder for twenty-five years. An ex-cop and recovered alcoholic, Scudder's early adventures were filled with Scudder's fascinating struggles with his own demons. But Scudder is older now -- he's 62 -- and quite sober. But his keen insights and complex personality still fascinate. In a departure from the previous Scudder novels, several chapters are written from the point of view of the killer; they are absolutely riveting. The ending hints at a sequel -- another departure for this series -- which is nothing but good news for Scudder fans. Highly recommended.
--Claire E. White
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This review was published in the Oct. - Nov., 2001 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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