Summary and book reviews of All The Flowers Are Dying by Lawrence Block

All The Flowers Are Dying

by Lawrence Block

All The Flowers Are Dying
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2005, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2006, 384 pages

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Book Summary

The suspense is breathtaking, the outcome never certain. A series that has garnered no end of awards -- the Edgar, the Shamus, the Philip Marlowe, the Maltese Falcon -- has ascended to a dizzying new height.

In his sixteenth Matthew Scudder novel, All the Flowers Are Dying, New York Times bestselling author Lawrence Block takes the award-winning series to a new level of suspense and a new depth of characterization. Building on the critical and commercial success of Hope to Die, Block puts Scudder -- and the reader -- at the very edge of the abyss.

Scudder, a complex character who has grown and aged in real time, confronts the implacable challenge of mortality. But he must also tackle a determined, relentless, and icily inhuman adversary, perhaps the most unforgettable villain Block has ever created.

A man in a Virginia prison awaits execution for three hideous murders he swears, in the face of irrefutable evidence, he did not commit. A psychologist who claims to believe the convict spends hours with the man in his death row cell, and ultimately watches in the gallery as the lethal injection is administered. His work completed, the psychologist heads back to New York City to attend to unfinished business.

Meanwhile, Scudder has just agreed to investigate the ostensibly suspicious online lover of an acquaintance. It seems simple enough. At first. But when people start dying and the victims are increasingly closer to home, it becomes clear that a vicious killer is at work. And the final targets may be Matt and Elaine Scudder.

The suspense is breathtaking, the outcome never certain. A series that has garnered no end of awards -- the Edgar, the Shamus, the Philip Marlowe, the MalteseFalcon -- has ascended to a dizzying new height. With this novel, Lawrence Block, who recently received the Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement from the Crime Writers Association of the United Kingdom, is at the very top of his form.

Chapter One

When I got there, Joe Durkin was already holding down a corner table and working on a drink -- vodka on the rocks, from the looks of it. I took in the room and listened to the hum of conversation at the bar, and I guess some of what I was feeling must have found its way to my face, because the first thing Joe asked me was if I was all right. I said I was fine, and why?

"Because you look like you saw a ghost," he said.

"Be funny if I didn't," I said. "The room is full of them."

"A little new for ghosts, isn't it? How long have they been open, two years?"

"Closer to three."

"Time flies," he said, "whether you're having fun or not. Jake's Place, whoever Jake is. You got a history with him?"

"I don't know who he is. I had a history with the place before it was his."

"Jimmy Armstrong's."

"That&#...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

New York Times Book Review

Scudder is back after a four-year absence in All the Flowers Are Dying, more melancholy and more endearing than ever.

Buffalo News

Block, as always, takes his readers on a wildly entertaining ride.

The New York Times - Marilyn Stasio

Although Scudder's hunt for the killer turns into a companionable tour of colorful neighborhoods, his thoughts on the city run deep and reflect real feelings about its humanity.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

In his stellar 16th outing the 60-something Scudder proves to be as tough and resilient as ever when faced with the slickest, sickest killer to ever test his mettle.

Kirkus Reviews

Another powerful meditation on mortality in thriller's clothing. As Scudder puts it, "There's always another funeral to go to. They're like buses."

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