Out on the Cutting Edge (Matthew Scudder #7)
Matthew Scudder understands the futility of his search for a longtime missing Midwestern innocent who wanted to be an actress in the vast meat-grinder called New York City. But her frantic father heard that Schudder is the best—and now the ex-cop-turned-p.i. is scouring the hell called Hell's Kitchen looking...more
Out on the Cutting Edge is yet another of Lawrence Block's great Matthew Scudder books. As usual, the ending was a big surprise. The character of Mickey Ballou was a nice contrast to Scud...more
Into all of this steps Warren Hoeldtke, a Subaru dealer from Muncie, Indiana. His beautiful young daughter, Paula, graduated with a degree in Theater Arts from Ball State, and then set ou...more
I have this thing, a compulsion perhaps, wherein I cannot not finish a book (yes, that double negative needed to happen). I always worry that the ending will be so amazing as to have made any pain involved in the process worth it (that, and I've managed to convince myself that if I don't finish one book I'll just never finish another book again). Let me be clear, I love me my Matthew Scudder way too much to even consider not finishing one of his exploits, but the...more
Block had written about Matt trying to get sober in the mid-‘80s with 8 Million Ways to Die, and then he had done a flashback novel when Matt was still boozing during the ‘70s in When the Sacred Ginmill Closes so there’s been a pretty substantial gap in Matt’s timeline when this story starts up in 1989. (Thanks to winning an ARC of the upcoming A Drop of the Hard Stuff, I can report that Scudder fans will get some more info about what Matt was up to...more
Scudder is three years sober when we run into him again in Book 7, Out on the Cutting Edge. He's faithfully attending meetings, and even leading a few when the mood strikes him. He's also still living in his spare hotel room lodgings and with a lot more time on his hands now that he's quit the bar scene and sipping bourbon coffee by the quart. While the vapor fumes of booze no longer waft from his person, there is yet an elemental quality of loneliness that continues to seep from the pores of ou...more
The only real flaw in the novel was that Scudder was more lucky than he did good work in the case he wo...more
When you pick this book up, you're going to notice some major changes to the Scudder universe. At the end of Eight Million Ways to Die, Matt comes to terms with his alcoholism and attends - and participates - in an AA Meeting. At the beginning of this novel, Matt is 3 years sober and is heavily involved in the program. Also, we meet a new character (Mick Ballo...more
Interesting storyline and Matt is at his best but the primary reason I gave it four stars is the ending. It is as surprising as an out of the blue firm slap on the face. OMG, really, Matt? You figured it o...more
After a flashback to the 70s in the previous Matt Scudder book we're back to his present with the seventh instalment; Matt's in AA now, been clean for over three years, and he's passing out wallet sized photos of a missing girl, an actress from Muncie, Indiana who fled small town life to make it as an...more
Normally Matt breaks his cases by hard graft and a keen insight into the personality of the people surrounding the case; this time to answer falls to him via a "chance" connection and it is the denouement that takes center stage as he unwinds the threads and delivers closure to the victims and their families.
It is in this element that we see the reflection of change...more
One of the most interesting things for me about the last few books in this series is how Block can literally take us through Matthew Scudder's life and not drag us down with inanity. It's a workaday process here--I feel like I'm trudging around New York City with our protagonist, shadowing his day, a silent friend, a recovering alcoholic detective-in-training. That sounds boring and would be in the hands of...more
In this book, Matt Scudder is hired as a private eye to find an innocent Midwestern girl who came to New York City at the age of 18 to make her fortune. She has disappeared, and her parents are frantic. As more and more time passes, and more and more clues lead to nothing, Matt is coming increasingly to the conclusion that the girl is dead. In the meantime, a new...more
"It isn't called Hell's Kitchen for nothing - a gritty landscape of dark doorways and dirty alleys inhabited by crack addicts and the homeless. For Matt Scudder, it's a city gone mad, but a city he can't leave as he's been hired to find missing would-be actress Paula Hoeldtke."
This book introduces a friend of Scudder's nicknamed The Butcher, who plays an important role in several of the later stories. A congenial, trustworthy murderer. As several of Scudder's cop friends say to him, that's an odd person to be calling a friend.
In this book Scudder is in AA and does not drink, but he almost does, mostly because his lady friend drinks, and he keeps t...more
Block, Lawrence - 7th in series
From Fantastic Fiction: It isn't called Hell's Kitchen for nothing - a gritty landscape of dark doorways and dirty alleys inhabited by crack addicts and the homeless. For Matt Scudder, it's a city gone mad, but a city he can't leave as he's been hired to find missing would-be actress Paula Hoeldtke.
Gritty, dark without being noir, great character, so well written. I'm a fan.
From his web site:
I'm told every good author website needs a bio, so here's mine:
"Lawrence Block's novels range from the urban noir of Matthew Scudder (A Drop of the Hard Stuff) to the urbane effervescence of Bernie Rhodenbarr (The Burglar on the Prowl), while other characters include the globe-trotting insomniac Evan Tanne...more