Read a walk among the tombstones by Lawrence Block Online


Big-time dope dealer Kenan Khoury is a wealthy man, and it comes as no surprise when his wife Francine is kidnapped and a ransom demanded. Kenan pays up and his wife is duly returned to him - in small pieces left in the boot of an abandoned car, leaving private eye Matt Scudder to speculate on the motives of a very unusual kidnapper. Soon he is on the trail of a pair of ruBig-time dope dealer Kenan Khoury is a wealthy man, and it comes as no surprise when his wife Francine is kidnapped and a ransom demanded. Kenan pays up and his wife is duly returned to him - in small pieces left in the boot of an abandoned car, leaving private eye Matt Scudder to speculate on the motives of a very unusual kidnapper. Soon he is on the trail of a pair of ruthlessly sadistic psycopaths whose insanely cruel games have only just begun......

Title : a walk among the tombstones
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18895081
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 356 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

a walk among the tombstones Reviews

  • Kemper
    2019-04-17 21:05

    Right after finishing this book, I was at the grocery store with the wife. I was daydreaming while she got some meat from the butcher’s counter. She dropped a couple of wrapped steaks and hamburger in the cart. I ran screaming out of the store. So thanks for that, Lawrence Block.Kenan Khoury is a heroin distributor whose wife Francine was kidnapped. Kenan followed instructions and paid a large ransom without contacting the cops, but Francine still got choppity-chopped and sent home like pork cutlets. Since he can’t go to the cops without a lot of awkward questions, Kenan hires Matt Scudder to try and find the men who killed his wife. Matt follows a trail that will lead him to some of the most sadistic sons-of-bitches he’s come across yet. And as he’s working on that, Matt will also have to decide what kind of relationship he wants with Elaine, the call-girl he’s been dating.Holy shit snacks! The early books in this series always had intriguing mysteries, but I’d forgotten about the string of truly despicable villains that Block created and threw at Matt along the way. The books contained some horrifying crimes without becoming schlock serial killer thrillers, and Block always managed to use Matt as our decent anchor in a world that has seemingly gone mad.This one also continues the trend of developing Matt’s supporting cast. TJ, the young street hustler, and Matt are starting to form a bond, and TJ is proving to be a valuable asset for Matt’s investigations. We also meet the Kongs, a couple of computer hackers circa 1992 who help Matt with some phone research and hook him up with the greatest long distance deal ever. I like the way that Block has introduced variety of people into Matt’s life that are criminals on paper, yet they turn out to be much more than just their occupations. Matt has a lot of odd relationships for an ex-cop who takes the notion of good and evil very seriously. Mick Ballou may be a gangster and a killer, but he’s Matt’s best friend. Elaine is a hooker, but she’s a very smart and classy woman that he cares deeply for. Kenan is a drug dealer, but he’s also a very stand-up guy in his own way and Matt once again finds himself forming an unlikely friendship with someone that he’d normally expect to disapprove of.Another gem in the Scudder series and a very powerful and disturbing crime novel.

  • BillKerwin
    2019-03-24 22:11

    As detective Scudder gets older, the books he stars in get longer, each entry filled with more Scudder reflections, more peripheral characters, more comic relief, and—page for page—less mystery. Yet this is the strange part : Scudder is still stoic, New York City and its denizens are still vivid and grim, and the later crimes—though they take fewer pages to develop—are even more compelling than before. This is something only a master of genre like Block can do can do: he fulfills the requirements of genre so efficiently that he has plenty of time left over for other things.This time Matt is hired by heroin dealer Kenan Khoury whose wife has been kidnapped and then killed, after the ransom has been payed. Khoury feels he cannot go to the police, and he want Scudder to track down the murderers and deliver them into his hands. Tracking them down involves a knowledge of Ma Bell's intricate computer information system, and one of the amusing parts of the book is watching Luddite Scudder's uneasy alliance with the two computer hackers known as the Kong Brothers. Street hustler T.J. makes another appearance, and Scudder further deepens his relationship with Elaine.The climax is exciting, and the ending, though grim, is not arbitrarily grim. Another admirable entry in an excellent series.

  • brian
    2019-03-25 22:18

    finished all 16 matt scudder books (+1 short story collection). that's like 5,000 pages. and now i'm kinda depressed. well, a few thoughts before i drown myself in ice cream sandwich and crap TV: ignore all the 3 and 4 star ratings with the knowledge that the series is a solid fiver. like simenon's novels, (the first 16 of) stark's parker books, PKD's mindfuckedpulperies, etc, it's a mosaic which equals more than the sum of its parts. forget elaborate mysteries and plot-stuck crime books -- that's all macguffin, anyway. the scudder books have much more in their crosshairs: character and tone and a nice kick in the old existenticles. hard-drinking PIs are fun; dry drunk PIs are infinitely more conflicted, thus more interesting. all cities are best in the middle of the night - after the partyers crash and the yuppies arise - and this is scudder's world: a mournful, soulful, lonely place inhabited by the sad and the desperate, by albino black men, irish gangsters, art-collecting pimps, & sober alcoholics. freak-of-the-week series in which nothing changes from book to book other than the central mystery are fine; watching block's characters grow older and more psychologically complex from book to book is sublime. scudder's 'in the wee small hours' conversations with mick ballou are my favorite parts of the series. i also dig when TJ bangs the tranny. while hal ashby's mangled movie version of 8 Million Ways to Die is fun when viewed as a historical artifact of garish & cool 80s neon-noir (and as hollywood cautionary tale), it has very little to do with the book. liam neeson is playing scudder in an upcoming adaptation of a walk among the tombstones. ah... he just doesn't seem right for the part. we'll see. well, scudder withdrawal sucks. kemper thinks i might seek methadone treatment in the form of some keller novels, but it's not block i miss, it's scudder. so, i'll take a cue from the man himself and hunker down with a pot of coffee, a former hooker with a heart of gold, a black streetkid sidekick, and take it -- wait for it… wait for it… -- one day at a time. my breakdown: The Sins of the Fathers - *** In the Midst of Death - ** Time to Murder and Create - ***A Stab in the Dark - *** 1/2 Eight Million Ways to Die - *** 3/4When the Sacred Ginmill Closes - ****Out on the Cutting Edge - *** 1/2 A Ticket to the Boneyard - *** 3/4 A Dance at the Slaughterhouse - ****A Walk Among the Tombstones - ****The Devil Knows You're Dead - ****A Long Line of Dead Men - ****Even the Wicked - *** 1/2Everybody Dies - ***Hope to Die - **All the Flowers Are Dying - **A Drop of the Hard Stuff - *** 1/2The Night and the Music - ****

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-04-12 21:59

    A gang of psychopaths kidnap, rape, torture, and murder a drug dealer's wife after getting a ransom from him. The drug dealer hires Matthew Scudder to find the men for him. But was this the only time the psychopaths have struck? And will they strike again...?As the series goes by, Matthew Scudder goes up against sicker and sicker foes and gets put into worse and worse situations. Like usual, it makes the book a page turner because you can't wait to see him settle the bad guys's hash. The high points of this books were the development of the relationship between Scudder and TJ and the conflict in Elaine and Scudder's relationship. The introduction of The Kongs was a nice touch. I'll be anxious to see if they get used again in a later book. I was eager for Mick Ballou to return from Ireland, though I didn't miss him as much as Matt did.The Matthew Scudder series continues to impress. I heartily recommend it to noir fans.

  • James Thane
    2019-04-13 00:49

    For the last thirty years or so, I've been reading Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder series which, for me at least, is hands down the best P.I. series that anyone's ever done. I mean no disrespect to authors like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, both of whom I admire greatly. But their body of work is relatively small by comparison. Block, on the other hand, created a fantastic character right out of the box, put him in a great, gritty setting, surrounded him with an excellent supporting cast, and then only continued to get better and better, book after book.I normally read one about every four months or so, working my way back through the series in order. But I'd only just worked my way back to the beginning of the series when, suddenly, the release of the movie based on A Walk Among the Tombstones was imminent. I've been reading at a much quicker pace over the last couple of months so that I'd be caught up by Friday when the movie opens at a theater near me, as they say.I confess that I have serious reservations about the whole idea of making a movie from this series. I've studiously avoided seeing the film adaptation of Eight Million Ways to Die, in which Jeff Bridges played Scudder and in which the plot was transferred to L.A., which as any fan of the series could tell you is beyond sacrilegious to the power of about ten. After spending so much time with these books, I have my own very fixed ideas about all the characters, Scudder in particular, and about the setting. And I don't want any movie, no matter how brilliant the people involved, screwing them up.That said, I'm probably going to see the movie adaptation of this one, assuming that the early reviews are good. I like Liam Neeson, and he's probably about as close to my idea of Scudder physically as any actor could be. Plus, the movie is set in New York and, from what I've read is faithful to the setting. Finally, of course, Mr. Block himself seems genuinely enthused about the film and I trust that he wouldn't lead me down a wrong path. But still...As this book opens, a drug dealer's wife is kidnapped, brutally raped and tortured, then killed and returned to the drug dealer in pieces. The drug dealer is actually a fairly nice guy as drug dealers go, which is to say that he's way up high in the food chain and is not personally peddling crack to small school children. The dealer's brother knows Matt Scudder from AA, and Matt agrees to investigate the case and try to determine who the guilty parties might be. Scudder doggedly pursues the case, as he usually does, doing research and interviewing people who might be able to shed light on the situation. He discovers that the drug dealer's wife was not the first victim of these killers and doubtless won't be the last. But will he be able to close the net around them before they claim another victim? And what will happen if he does?The tension mounts throughout the story, leading to a great climax. But, as always, the character development is key to these stories. The street kid, TJ, who first appeared in the last book, A Ticket to the Boneyard plays a larger role here, as does Matt's main squeeze, Elaine Mardell. Fans of the series know that Elaine is a high-end prostitute that Matt first met back in the days when he was still on the job as a cop. But the relationship has reached something of a critical juncture, and the tension involved in that subplot is almost as great as that in the main plot.As ever, it's a great ride; I can only hope that the movie comes even close to doing it justice. Wish me luck...

  • Carol.
    2019-04-16 03:49

    Block opens the book with an "English lullaby" that is pretty much guaranteed to cause sleeplessness in any child listening. It might scare them quiet, however: "baby, baby if he hears you/As he gallops past the house/Limb from limb at once he'll tear you/Just as a pussy tears a mouse." A gruesome and fitting way to start off one of Scudder's more horrific cases.A Walk is little more to the 3.5 area on the scudder scale of awesomeness. Scudder is back in usual form, but with some of the character subtlety missing--it feel a little like--deep breath --Block might be phoning it in. It has a similar feel to the Spenser mysteries, ten or fifteen books in. Plug in the general ingredients: love interest + colorful informants + dubious client. Season with interaction with NYC's boys in blue, library newspapers, cursory sprinkles with Matt's friends, Mikey, Danny Boy and sponsor Jim, add a few AA meetings, and voila! Baked mystery. Frost with vengeance story and you are ready to serve.I know, I know. I'm going to be punished for saying this. I think Block's strength in prior books was the sweet blend of characterization with gritty mystery. Opening with an imagined flashback to the victim's last day seems a cheap emotional trick. This time around, it's a little less focus on Scudder. TJ, the street kid from Times Square area, plays more of a role, and honestly, for me he was one of the bright spots of the books. It makes me a little uncomfortable, however, because it just misses being the funny/resourceful black man hip sidekick. Block keeps it from going quite that far, partly through Scudder's own ability to mock himself. Scenes with TJ and Elaine are where my favorite bits of dialogue show up. The hacker kids were amusing, but appear dated, circa 2012. Reading dialogue that mentions "Jolt" soda brought back a strange kind of nostalgia."I'm stunned," I said. "I didn't know you could talk like that.""What, you mean talk straight? 'Course I can. Just because I street don't mean I be ignorant. They two different languages, man, and you talkin' to a cat's bilingual."Where Block seems to have concentrated his subtle awesomeness is in the characterization of his client(s), a drug moving middleman and his alcoholic-in-recovery brother. While one scene with him seemed particularly awkward to me--the scene where they discuss the morality of selling drugs versus arms--I suppose it does fit within the context of the dealer questioning life choices of the awful event that happened. Still, it's a little pat and though the dealer is reasonably educated, he doesn't go the route of "all business is based on exploitation," a rejoinder that seems rather obvious to anyone in New York.I was charmed by a group of drug dealers acting like a band of merry men, but I wonder... really?I was aware I was believing this section of the plot because I wanted to, not because Block was writing a story that seemed remotely plausible. The final disposition scene was a hard one to stomach. Necessary? I'm not sure. I also felt like some of Scudder's personal story was tacked on at the end, rather than growing organically through the book. Still, it was gripping, a fun fast read, and several bits made me smile. It was a diverting. Three and a half stars.Cross posted at

  • Brandon
    2019-03-20 19:57

    A young lady is snatched by a pair of lowlifes and held for ransom. Her husband, drug dealer Kenan Khoury, is forced to cough up four hundred thousand for her safe return. Upon payment, her husband is told to collect her from the trunk of a car not far from his home. Hoping to reunite with his missing wife, Kenan finds her in less than desirable shape.Distraught over his wife’s murder and unable to reach out to the police, Kenan turns to his brother Peter who suggests bringing in Matt Scudder, a man Peter met while at an AA meeting.Ten books in and Matt’s vision of black and white has morphed into a solid grey. Matt admits that if this case had been presented to him years ago, he may have passed on it. However, over time, he’s been involved in a lot of shady situations and even once framed someone he had found out was guilty after initially clearing him of another crime. Matt knows that what happened to Kenan and his wife was undoubtedly wrong but helping a drug dealer achieve vengeance against those responsible wouldn’t exactly fall in line with the Matt Scudder who worked for the NYPD.The thing I liked most about this story is that even before Matt can start turning over some stones, he’s already got his back up against the wall. Kenan immediately cremated his wife after her murder so there’s no longer a corpse, there’s no witness who can verify the abduction taking place and because of points one and two, there isn’t a great starting point for Scudder. Matt knows that solving this case is a long shot but he jumps on board anyway. Wouldn’t you if you were handed a $10,000 retainer?While the case itself is interesting and the villains are twisted monsters, it’s the development of Scudder’s supporting cast that takes center stage. TJ, a fifteen year old street-wise kid that Scudder met a few books back shows that he can be incredibly resourceful. Elaine, Scudder’s girlfriend, succeeds in ways that he didn't predict. Block also introduces a pair of hackers dubbed The Kongs, associates of TJ that are so entertaining that I’m hoping they make another appearance down the road.It should be noted that Block created a bone chilling killer that rivals Motley from A Ticket to the Boneyard – which isn't easy to do. Each phone call with the abductor grows more and more unsettling leading up to their ultimate confrontation near the end. I won’t be so bold to spoil anything but there’s some dialogue coming from that psychopath that hits hard.It’s worth noting that there’s a film adaptation in the works that I believe just finished filming and is in the post-production stage. There’s no set date for release other than "2014" but I’m hoping it’ll be received better than the last time Scudder hit Hollywood in the 1986 adaptation of Eight Million Ways to Die. I have a hard time seeing Neeson as Scudder but I’m sure someone knows what they’re doing.Cross Posted @ Every Read Thing

  • Tfitoby
    2019-04-11 21:52

    Block was really taking Matt Scudder to some dark places in the early 90s, as if a psychotic killer hell bent on revenge and a couple of evil snuff film makers weren't enough hell for one man to face whilst trying with all his might to stay away from the hard stuff he's now faced with some joy killers who abduct and dissect women in broad daylight. Luckily he has a great group of friends and a growing sense of "home" in a light place to counteract the dark. But surely there's only so much of the banality of evil that men can commit upon each other that Scudder can witness before his will fails him?I'd like to think this isn't one of those scenarios where we all keep reading waiting to see the head roll after the horrible accident, but the fear you have for Scudder and his friends, who are seemingly willing to go in to harms way to fight Matt's fight alongside him, is palpable from the opening paragraphs of these books. The more you care about a character the more the reader has riding on their success and there can be no greater series to demonstrate the truth of that statement as in the hands of Lawrence Block you can never be sure what hell he is going to run his protagonist through next.Tombstones deviates slightly from the "standard" Scudder pattern, the way his private detective work evolves in to something else entirely as the case picks up pace makes it clear why somebody thought it would be a fantastic post-Taken vehicle for Liam Neeson but the magic of Block's writing is that he visits the edges of a different sub-genre without it feeling false to the world and characters that he's already created. Gary watchers will be disappointed by the brevity of his work here but it's more than made up for by the growth of TJ in to a series character AND what I hope will be the first of many appearances for the Kong Brothers as Scudder struggles to come to grips with the exciting technological advances the 90s are bringing him.Personally it doesn't reach the heights of Slaughterhouse or 8 Million Ways but it's another stellar instalment, another superb piece of work from the Grandmaster and another example of all that can be great in noir fiction.

  • Anthony Vacca
    2019-03-25 22:57

    A Walk Among the Tombstones is a prime choice cut of detective fiction—heck, it’s maybe worth two or three or a whole car trunk full of packaged slices on ice of high quality writing. All the necessary tasty bits that make the Matthew Scudder novels so savory are on full display in this tenth entry into the series. Dialogue that sizzles, suspense that slow boils over the cooking pot, and characters as complex and heady as a carefully-prepared dish of steak tartare. This time around, Scudder takes a butcher at the life of a heroin dealer when said white collar criminal hires our hero to track down the psychopathic scumbags who kidnapped his wife and sent her back home in doggy bags. Along the way, Scudder hangs out with all his friends, as well as makes a few new ones in the form of an ex-junkie and a pair of teenage hackers, and when he’s not too busy schmoozing, he does some damn slick work at tracking down the kidnappers who like to moonlight as shoykhets. But as is always the case with these books, you read them for Block’s crisp and nuanced writing, for the ponderings on mortality and on the nature of evil, and because Matthew Scudder is a wonderful character with wonderful friends and this book is a tender, succulent full-slab rib-platter of superlative crime fiction.

  • Mark
    2019-04-15 00:14

    After having read the Keller series and having seen the movie with Liam Neeson I was kind of interested in reading the basis of the movie.The book and the movie are actually pretty similar which makes me hope fora few more Scudder movies starring Neeson.The story is basicly about a kidnapping gone horribly wrong from the viewpoint of the husband who receives after paying the ransom his wife back albeit in pieces.It is the brother of the victims husband who finds Scudder due to their connection through AA. And while Scudder has some moral ideas about working for drug-dealers he has a lot more trouble with the MO of the kidnappers. When he takes on the case he pretty soon finds traces of similar crimes, but are they related? Scudder travels through the darker side of the city where we find that even criminals have morals and weaknesses easily to exploit. A dark story that does end in lightness for Scudder which is fitting considering the journey he just traveled. A first literary acquaintance of a more modern PI that feels more realistic than the likes of Robert B. Parker's hero's, far less smart talk of glib one-liners but a lot more flawed humans who try to live.Read the book and watch the movie, they are both worth your while, my preference lies in the literary field which cannot be too surprising considering my taste in books. This book really makes you want to read more, hence the next seven books I found concerning Scudder that are heading towards my house as I write this review.

  • William
    2019-04-16 04:11

    Good start and finish, but with a plodding, lifeless middle. Sadly, the middle half of this 10th Matt Scudder book is dull, repetitive crap, honestly. Very tedious to slog through. Even the famous "Lawrence Block genius dialogue" is not in evidence here. The whole of the middle of the book is just padding to tie the ending to the start. More pages = Higher price?Block has famously never talked of his possible AA membership, but I would strongly suggest that every book he wrote after Matt (Block) goes sober is a "virtual AA meeting" for Block. They start out fine, you fall asleep in the too-dull middle, and then wake up for a rousing coffee/shootup at the end. Yes?Thankfully, the first and last quarters of the book are very good. Early on, the prose has tightened up quite a bit compared to some of the previous books. Unfortunately, Matt seems to have lost his soul, more and more with each new book. He seems to be working for far too many scumbags lately, mostly just for the money, a very disappointing dive for his character. One thing to note is this book was written 16 years after Sins of the Fathers. It could be that Block only had ten good years in him. Given the masterpiece of 8 Million Ways to Die, and the superb On the Cutting Edge, perhaps Block is just tapped out. Or perhaps his publisher is pushing for More, more, more pages for more money. I sure do see this a lot. Sadly also, other than the lullaby below, there's not a single quotation from this book worth repeating. A few positive things:1. The character of TJ is a delight. 2. Elaine and Matt move their relationship forward very nicely at the end. 3. The character, Kenan, is well-drawn and surprisingly sympathetic. 4. The obscene bloody parts can be skimmed to improve the book overall. "Jolly English" (scary psychotic) lullaby -Baby, baby, naughty baby Hush, you squalling thing, I say Peace this moment, peace, or maybe Bonaparte will pass this way Baby, baby, he’s a giant Tall and black as Monmouth steeple And he breakfasts, dines and suppers Every day on naughty people Baby, baby, if he hears you As he gallops past the house Limb from limb at once he’ll tear you Just as pussy tears a mouse And he’ll beat you, beat you, beat you And he’ll beat you all to pap And he’ll eat you, eat you, eat you Every morsel snap snap snap! The MovieI watched the movie with Liam Neeson today. It starts out following the book closely, the turn the corner into a completely different plot. Towards the end, the plot swings back much closer to the book. Perhaps the screenwriter thought the middle of the book was crap, too. It's not a great movie, a bit dull, but it's a lot less dull than the book. Quite a bit of the good Block dialogue has been kept, especially at the end. In the movie, Matt explains to TJ about the bullet that took a "bad hop" and killed the little girl. Very poignant, beautiful, sad. Better than in any of the books. The reading of the 12 Steps over the shootout at the end was very powerful. Honestly, I enjoyed the movie more than the book. Notes:1.0% ... After book #8 was awful, and book #9 included graphic torture of children, I’ve almost given up on Block. He's clearly had a mental breakdown. Ugh.I did see the Liam Neeson movie of this a few years ago, and although it was violent, it was not solely a shoot-em-up revenge-fest. 2.0% ... I've noticed that Block's prose has become ever more verbose as time's gone by. This book was published when he was 54. 3.0% ... the prose has tightened up substantially.. 5.0% ....pacing. Good, dialogue good... 25.0% .... awfully repetitive dialogue and plotting... 45.0% ... "high tech" scene written in 1992. Authors should stay away from this stuff 52.0% ... repulsive, gratuitous sex torture scene starts here. As if Block couldn't find another way to pay the bills. Just skip ahead! 55.0% ... as they get older, most authors tend to blather more and more. I guess it beats having to think or work 61.0% .... dull, dull, dull. 67.0% ..... dull, linear plotting. Step by tiny step, setting us up for the big action ending. There's no real subtlety here. Block has lost it, and his editor isn't doing his job. 71.0% ... The pace is picking up some, finally..

  • Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
    2019-04-09 03:13

    Showing at cinemas now, the movie version! I must go! This book was my introduction to Lawrence Block's writing and I am not left feeling let down one bit. What a fantastic novel that gripped me from the start and did not let go. Exceptional crime fiction with everything you would want.What's the book about?The dark thriller from crime fiction master Lawrence Block, soon to be a film starring Liam Neeson in September.Big-time dope dealer Kenan Khoury is a wealthy man. One fine spring morning his wife Francine is kidnapped and a ransom is demanded. Kenan pays and his wife is duly returned to him in small pieces in the boot of an abandoned car.PI Matt Scudder is left to speculate on the motives of a very unusual kidnapper. And soon he is on the trail of a pair of ruthlessly sadistic psycopaths whose cruel games have only just begun...My Review:I can imagine Liam Neeson who has been cast as PI Matt Scudder doing a great justice to the character in the upcoming movie, it will make a GREAT movie.PI Matt Scudder is an ex-detective turned Private Investigator, he gets a call to help Kenan Khoury, his wife has been kidnapped and ransom demands have been made. Hot on the tail of the kidnappers Scudder rallies up as much help as he can get from his contacts on the street and in the police force, he's a connected man. But despite meeting ransom demands Khoury's wife, Francine, is returned, in pieces, chopped up, wrapped in garbage backs in the boot of a car. Not nice. Not nice at all.The plot expands with Scudder finding links to previous murders and suddenly he knows he is looking for a pair of thrill kill serial murderers who have no mercy and no regrets. It's good against evil. He's smarter than the cops in putting all the pieces together. He is a flawed yet likeable character, with a good heart and a smart mind.The book is highly descriptive with a gritty theme all the way through it, the writing seems to be like music when you read it, hard to explain but you get caught up on the lull of the words and taken with it. A bit like riding a wave. Block stands out to me with a very unique style of crime writing from many authors I have read. I am certain to read more of his work.I love the way Scudder has versatile ways of investigating, some of the characters he hooks up to in the book on his hunt for the killers are fantastic. I won't share spoilers but the scene in the hotel room? You will know it when you get there was great, I loved it, brilliant.This is a book that does not hold back, it can be gruesome and violent in parts, you certainly get enough description of events to be there and know what you are seeing. These killers are relentless and dangerous, and escalating. Sadistic and cruel, enjoying killing just for the thrill of it. The chase to find them and the methods use makes for fascinating and gripping reading.A tight plot, riveting reading, fantastic writing, likeable flawed characters, and an ending that satisfied me fully. I can't wait to read more of Lawrence Block's books featuring PI Matt Scudder. I received a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  • Hester
    2019-04-07 04:09

    So I keep seeing those commercials for the film adaptation of A Walk Among the Tombstones, the critics say it's scary, so I say to myself, I say "Hester you gotta read that" and of course I agree with myself. I wish I would have ignored me. My first clue this book was not going to be that great is the fact that it's number 10 in a series, well I wasn't going to waste my time with books 1-9 but thought that I'd give it a try anyway. As a rule I'm not that fond of series, something about them gets on my nerves, and I'm sure if I had started with book 1 in the series I never would have made it past book 1. This book just isn't any good, the characters are dull, especially Matthew Scudder. The bad guys aren't scary, I wish there would have been more about them. Like I give a fuck about Matthew meeting people for lunch and what they ate and where he goes to get coffee or to hang out. His food and beverage intake don't add to the story, it just drags it out. What kind of lame ass drug dealers are Kenan and Yuri? They seriously suck, not that I know any drug dealers in real life, but I would imagine that they would be more dangerous and menacing, but no they're just two nice guys who peddle drugs. Mainly there was no pay off, it started boring and ended on an icky note of Matthew and his girlfriend Elaine talking about their feelings for one another. Ew, no, just no.

  • JoeNoir
    2019-03-26 00:08

    The essence of the private eye in fiction is that the individual detective works outside the system and can make the decision to dispense judgment as he sees fit, or not. To bring true “justice” when the authorities would not, or could not. Or, he can choose not to do so. The job could be simply following the instructions of the client, and securing their desired result; completing the task. Or, it could place the detective in such a position that his own personal code would be violated if he failed to get more involved, and take more direct action. There are several terrific characters who are not themselves actually “detectives” who will work on the behalf of clients; from Travis McGee to Nick Escalante in William Goldman’s Heat. At or near the top of this list is Matthew Scudder.Horrifying, thrilling, intriguing, insightful, and very realistic this is the very best Matt Scudder novel; even better than my previous favorites A Dance at the Slaughterhouse and Eight Million Ways to Die.We are treated to some of Block’s finest writing, and deepest insights into alcoholism and drug addiction, twelve step programs, “bad guys” who aren’t necessarily bad guys, and “bad guys” who are truly evil. It asks the reader to think about who might hire an unlicensed private detective like Scudder? Would it be someone who was unable to go to the police, and why would such a person be targeted by true evil? This appears to relate to one very subtle unanswered question for which the reader can come to their own conclusion. The novel also has exceptional insight into relationships, and some laugh out loud funny lines that appear in the most unusual spots. A meeting with true evil in a cemetery at night is the equal of any similar scene by Stephen King.This is obviously a well thought out novel. There are some truly terrifying scenes, and some grisly violence. There is unexpected softness and love. I found it a maelstrom of thought provoking ideas swirling around a stalwart figure working his way through a very entertaining crime novel. I was disappointed in the last Scudder I read The Devil Knows You’re Dead, but I loved this one and didn’t want it to end.

  • Eric_W
    2019-03-25 20:18

    A Matt Scudder novel. It's always fun to run across anachronisms in books written years ago. The morphing into non-existence of pay phones, once a feature of hotel cubbyholes and conference centers, 800 # phone cards, calls for a dime, the elimination of pay phone numbers; all of that is so foreign to the current generation that can't understand not being able to make an instant 911 call with their cell phones.Classic Block.

  • Larry
    2019-04-05 23:51

    One of the cops in "A Walk Among the Tombstones" notes that there is a new recreational class of crime--thrill killing--that seems to be on the rise. That kind of crime is at the heart of this book. Matt Scudder is approached by someone he knows through AA whose brother's wife was snatched off the street, held for ransom, and then returned in pieces. The husband, who makes his money as a high-end drug dealer, doesn't want to go to the cops, so he approaches Scudder. The husband makes it clear from the start that vengeance is his purpose. Given that Scudder has engaged in vengeance and retribution in a couple of earlier books in the series, he doesn't shy away from the job. The process by which Scudder tracks down the killers, who have struck before and who are getting worse with each crime, is interesting, as is a parallel story line about Matt's relationship with his girlfriend and with TJ, his street savvy apprentice of sorts. Block writes well, as usual, though there's a flatness to his writing that has always been apparent. It doesn't detract from the books. If anything, it matches the dogged qualities that Scudder exhibits throughout the series. NOTE: Yesterday I watched the film version of this book, starring Liam Neeson as Matt Scudder. Though there have been a couple of 87th precinct movies, this is the first Matt Scudder movie that I've seen. It was pretty faithful to the book, the guys who played the killers were genuinely creepy, and Neeson did a nice job as Scudder. T.J. (played fairly well by "Astro") is a character, but Scudder doesn't have his long-term call-girl-turned-girlfriend in the movie. The procedural slog of the book is captured in the movie, as is the overall drab and foreboding atmosphere. It was at least 3 stars out of 4.

  • James Fitzgerald
    2019-04-11 21:49

    After I started reading this Matthew Scudder mystery I realized that I know this story line in that I could tell what was going to happen next. so I put the book aside and started something else. but a Scudder books nags at your mind and you are trying to remember what happened and how it ended. so I broke away from Monkeewrench that I was reading and finished a walk among the tombstones you know what now I want to see the movie again to see how Liam Neeson does as Scudder. Enjoyed the book and recommend it to detective & mystery fans.

  • Mary
    2019-03-30 23:52

    A stunningly resourceful brand of criminal has recently set up shop in the big city; an ingenious breed of human predators who victimize the loved ones of those who live outside the law. These sadistic extortionists have certainly chosen their victims wisely; knowing that criminals will never run to the police, no matter how brutal the threat. As a result, these vicious monsters have consistently been able to get away with their nefarious business.On a Thursday morning in late March, Francine Khoury leaves her home to run some errands. Hours later, her heroin-dealing husband Kenan receives a mysterious phone call demanding a hefty ransom for Francine's safe return. Despite following all of the caller's instructions - including delivering payment - Kenan is devastated by the discovery of his wife's mutilated body in the trunk of a car.Desperate to bring his wife's sadistic murderers to justice, Kenan knows that he can't turn to the police for help. Instead, he explores alternative avenues for justice: which is where Matthew Scudder comes in. Matthew Scudder - ex-cop turned private eye - has absolutely no love for the drug dealers and glorified poison peddlers who have now come to him for help. However, Matt's personal aversion to Kenan Khoury's shady lifestyle in no way lessens the private investigator's sorrow for the man's horrific loss.Matthew Scudder, private eye, will do whatever it takes to bring these perpetrators to justice - because they are using the innocent to fuel their diabolical schemes. He is determined to find the elusive extortionists and put them out of business permanently. Before another drop of innocent blood is spilled.First of all, let me say that I had initially wanted to read this book after seeing advertisements for the 2014 film adaptation starring Liam Neeson. I may never actually see the movie, but the book was definitely worth the wait to read. In my opinion, while the plot dealt with some seriously dark issues, it was still remarkably realistic. Although parts of the story were difficult for me to read because of some graphically violent passages, I still enjoyed the book very much. I would give this book an A+!

  • Ty Wilson
    2019-04-07 03:06

    This is the 10th book in the Scudder series, a series that continues to get better and better. This time out Matthew Scudder finds himself called to the home of a drug trafficker, Kenan Khoury, who has just had his wife kidnapped. She was kidnapped, raped, killed, cut up into small pieces and returned to her husband, even though he paid them $400,000 for her safe return. Mr. Khoury's brother Peter knows Scudder from AA meetings, and he brings Scudder in to help find the kidnappers. Scudder attacks the case with his usual dogged determination, and some of our usual cast of characters are along for the ride. The streetwise kid, TJ, is back from the previous book, and becomes a great help as does Elaine Mardell, Scudder's call girl girlfriend. The case moves along and has a great conclusion, but the true greatness of the book lies in it's character development. Scudder is still evolving and changing in many ways, whether it's his continuing battle with alcoholism or his growing attachment to Elaine. Another great book in a fantastic series.

  • L
    2019-04-08 22:09

    The book opens with an English lullaby that can be summed up as: quit crying and carrying on, baby, or the monster will grab you, rip you limb from limb, and eat you. It's easy to forget how grim lullabies and nursery tales really were. Next, comes Block's book. And it is every bit as gruesome as the lullaby. Fortunately, Block does not linger over the gory details, so they're part of the story but without gratuitous violence. Great characters, some of whom bring more than is apparent at first glance. Good Read!

  • Crimmas
    2019-04-13 23:09

    A great addition to the Scudder series, very engrossing and full of interesting characters. It's a slow boil, very well-researched, gritty and tight. Overall it's a great read and you can see how well Block has settled into Scudder's universe here.The movie doesn't really do it much justice. Not a bad movie, well-shot, but extremely gentrified. The book is approachable for many people but the movie is aimed toward white men only.

  • Craig
    2019-03-28 23:52

    The overall premise drew me in but unfortunately I didn't enjoy the book as much as I thought I would. The start was great but towards the middle the story slowed, then it picked up, had a slightly lacklustre ending then fizzled out. I may be old fashioned but I do love a book with eventual realisation of villain, thrilling chases, confrontation and ass kicking of said villain and so on, shame really because the baddies in this where nasty guys, well at least on got an amusing send off :)

  • Merry
    2019-04-09 01:01

    Thriller killer graphic gruesome, need I say more?... fast paced- perhaps a little too gruesome for my liking - but did give it a go - well written subject that was rather intense but it did keep my attention! -…. did I mention gruesome!!!

  • Ed
    2019-04-11 00:12

    Another hard-boiled standout, though not the best, in the Matt Scudder series. His street-savvy African-American sidekick TJ plays a key role in solving the murder. Lots of NYC geography.

  • Piker7977
    2019-04-06 02:59

    After his wife is brutally murdered, a drug runner hires unlicensed private detective Matt Scudder to track down the sick bastards who committed the act. The suspects blend well into New York City as they use a work truck/van to abduct their victims and then change the color and markings after the crime has been committed. They also have a tendency to leave the mutilated remains in cemeteries around town which makes for a ghastly calling card. Scudder has to pound the pavement and do what he does best in order to find the killers before they claim another victim.In my opinion, A Walk Among the Tombstones is not the best entry in this series and I had initially thought about giving it three stars. The problem with the Scudder books is that they spoil the reader and make one think that all other mysteries are up to Block's par level. They are not. The 4 is deserved. So let's start with the good.Scudder is easing into his life more and more and after Ticket to the Boneyard, Elaine has become a central figure in his life. This adds a good element to the character since it forces him to snap out of his funk. In the early novels, Scudder's detached and burnt out persona played great against the moments when rage and justice would take over his being. Those moments kept the reader guessing and made our main (anti?)hero unpredictable. The relationship he has built with Elaine (and Mick Ballou for that matter) add a complexity to Matt as it gives him a group to relate to. Since Scudder was far from a perfect law officer, these characters are well received and make up a believable group for our main character to become intimate and friendly with. This is also where we find our boy TJ in the mix. TJ's role was another good development to the series as he sort of acts like a Robin to Scudder's Batman. Raised on the streets and interested in the life of a detective, TJ is a capable and daring youth who adds comfort and suspense to Scudder's life. Now the bad. Well...bad might be too harsh. Now for the "so-so." The villains in A Walk Among the Tombstones were cold-blooded, psychopathic, and ruthless. Unfortunately they were also cliched as they could be part of a number of other crime series. While good and entertaining, this aspect made the book ultimately forgettable in the series. I'd say on par with On the Cutting Edge. This may be because this book came after some top notch novels before it. This is what I meant before by how Block had spoiled his readers. All in all a good book. If you picked this up because you saw the Liam Neeson movie on Amazon Prime, stop immediately and start from the beginning of the series with Sins of the Fathers. As someone who saved watching the movie until I had finished the book, you will be rewarded for your time reading as the book (and those preceding it) are superior to the film. No disrespect to Mr. Neeson as he actually made a decent Scudder and out preformed the previous effort by Bridges, but the film could easily have been a throwaway mystery if the character's names were changed. Read the book by reading the series.

  • Johnny
    2019-04-01 01:50

    Fans of Lawrence Block may be shocked that a person who enjoys reading mysteries would wait so long to read his work. I apparently had the author confused with Robert Bloch, another well-known author who work is (in my opinion) rather uneven. As a result, I had read a couple of short stories by the latter that I didn’t care for and had ignored the work of the former by mistake. When my brother gave me a box of mysteries that he enjoyed, it included several of the Matthew Scudder series (about an ex-cop who no longer finds it necessary to cooperate fully with legal authorities, even edgier than Parker’s Spenser) and the one about the thief (edgier as well than the late Donald E. Westlake’s master criminal planner, Dortmunder). After reading only one of the novels, I suddenly realized that I’d missed out on a wonderful body of work by a masterful storyteller. Unfortunately for me, I happened to read one of the later books in the series, first. As a result, I don’t have that delicious privilege of watching the character grow or unravel (or better yet, both). Still, there was plenty of character depth in the personal struggle of whether to accept the unethical behavior he had, apparently relished earlier in his life and in his determining where to draw the line between ethics and the law in his current situation. And, as with James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux, there is an awareness of the struggle with alcohol that so many law enforcement officers and particularly, ex-law enforcement officers, have.This novel is graphic. It features horrendous violence and explicit depravity. It is blatantly candid about the perils of alcohol abuse and addiction (as is another Scudder novel I found called Eight Million Ways to Die). The story is gripping and the conclusion is not tied up neatly in a Hollywood ending. If you’re like me, there are some ways in which the ending is satisfying and others in which it is not. But you will get to the ending. And even though I haven’t had a chance to grow with these characters, the conclusion is realistic enough that it has me looking back through the series for more—even if I have to frequent multiple libraries or used book sales to find them.

  • Ensiform
    2019-04-17 21:51

    A very gritty and black entry into the series of the former alkie but still unlicensed private eye. In this book, Scudder is hired by a drug dealer to find the sadistic spree killers who kidnapped and butchered his wife. With the help of his street connections, Scudder decides to mete out some more of the rough justice that is becoming his trademark. But lest he become a remorseless killing machine, Block allows Scudder to begin to craft some domestic bliss at the end of this saga.It’s a fine read, because Block is always entertaining. A few points distract from the story, though. One is unfortunate timing; the book is dated, with its labyrinthine plot to get ahold of a phone number that today could be obtained by the police without a second thought, and most civilians who have the technology. Block uses a pair of teenage hackers as the tools for this caper, and it seems like Block’s stretching, trying to get into the big “thing” of the early ‘90s. He should stick to cynical thugs and world-weary cops. The other point is that this book has a lot of black humor of the particularly morbid variety. The Scudder that I’m familiar with wouldn’t have made a joke about a woman getting her breast cut off (in A Dance at the Slaughterhouse, his reaction to torture was appropriately grim). Maybe now that Scudder’s found love, he’s lighthearted enough to crack about torture and mutilation, but I’m not sure I like it.

  • Steven Montano
    2019-03-21 00:14

    A drug dealer's wife is kidnapped and brutally murdered. The killer or killers have done this before, and they'll do it again.This was my first delve into Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder mysteries (I picked it up after having seen the film, which I thought was excellent), and I have to say I'll be coming back for more. Atmospheric, creepy, and perfectly paced, Block's writing is utilitarian almost to a fault, but the narrative propels forward at just the right pace, the bad guys are suitably nasty and the protagonist is wonderfully developed and very real. The actual plot seems to stray from time to time (a few too many dead ends, even for a mystery), and at times the dialogue feels overly explanatory (which is odd, because most of the time said dialogue is quite good, at times hilarious), but overall I can see why Mr. Block's novels have attracted such a huge body of followers over the years, and I now count myself among them.

  • Ellen
    2019-04-05 20:09

    A Walk Among the Tombstones by Lawrence Block.Let me start off by saying I had listened to this years ago while working in a library and enjoyed it immensely. It was my introduction to Matt Scudder which continues to this day. I also saw the movie and enjoyed it. This book on CD was narrated by Mark Hammer who in my opinion did the story a total disservice with his ramblings which did nothing except help to lose my interest. The 3 stars are because of the narrator and not the story. 4 stars are for the story itself and quite an introduction into the life of Matt Scudder and his friends from AA and their former hangouts.

  • Josh
    2019-03-20 23:12

    While A Walk Among The Tombstones is the tenth book in the Matt Scudder series, this reads perfectly well as a standalone (which is great as I've only dabbled with this series intermittently). The darker side of crime fiction is on display here as Scudder becomes involved in kidnapping case which has left a drug trafficker a widower and another underworld type minus a beloved daughter. Not for the faint of heart, Block writes with a poisoned pen positioning Scudder in the thick of a grisly case which leads to some memorable and pulse pounding moments.