All the Flowers Are Dying (Matthew Scudder, #16)
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All the Flowers Are Dying (Matthew Scudder #16)

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  994 ratings  ·  80 reviews
"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...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 28th 2006 by HarperTorch (first published February 15th 2005)
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Dan Schwent
After framing an innocent man for three brutal murders, a killer from Matthew Scudder's past has resurfaced and means to get revenge on Matt and everyone he holds dear. Can Matthew find the killer before the killer finds him?

"Wow!" is the best way I can sum this one up. I've read that Block wrote this one to be the series ender and it easily could be. As usual, Block delivered the goods and had me guessing, even though I knew who the killer was when I opened the book. There was a red herring tha...more
Kemper
This isn’t the last Matt Scudder book that Lawrence Block wrote, but since Matt would now be in his 70s and the one after it, A Drop of the Had Stuff, is a flashback novel, this is technically the last case that he works. It seems unlikely that there will be a new one that isn‘t set in the past but Block has seemingly reached the end of Matt’s story before and come back to it so nothing would surprise me. While I‘m not sure about that, I do know that this marks the last book that I’ve reread for...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Jan 19, 2013 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Scudder completionists
A Matt Scudder book that came perilously close to the "DNF" as soon as I discovered Block using a serial killer viewpoint.
description

Dear Block, why did you do this? It was such a great run--was a serial killer really the direction you wanted to take the Scudder series? Why, I remember the good ol' days when Scudder was a life drop-out, hanging out on bar stools and nursing his way through a whiskey and coffee, subsisting on his favors for 'friends.' Now officially retired and respectable, Scudder is still...more
James Thane
This, the sixteenth Matthew Scudder novel, opens as a psychologist comes to a Virginia prison to visit a man condemned to death for the brutal murders of three young boys. Although the evidence against him was overwhelming, the prisoner continues to protest his innocence. The psychologist claims to believe in the man's innocence, and he's the only one who does. The two men develop something of a relationship over the course of several visits and, at the end, the condemned man asks his new friend...more
Stephen
Almost at the end of the Scudder series and don't agree with the comments from some that the series falls off a bit towards the end.
The ones in the middle are the best but the whole series has been excellent and all the more enjoyable for having read them in order as by the end there are frequent references to previous books. This one ended up being one of my favourites and was very hard to put down. Just A Drop of the Hard Stuff and the short story collection The Night and the Music to go now.
Donna
I confess. About three-fourths of the way through the book, I read the last chapter. I couldn't stand it--had to know. Lawrence Block has been messing with readers' minds for a long time, and he's very, very good at it.

In remarks others have made, it's intriguing to note that those unfamiliar with earlier books in the Matt Scudder series seem tentative in their assessment. They seem to feel they're missing some of the pieces, and perhaps that's true. I probably became acquainted with Matt Scudde...more
Paul
If you are a fan of the Matthew Scudder series, this is a must read.

Block spends much more time viewing things from the eyes of a sadistic murderer in this book, which he does so well, it is unnerving. But the drop to 3 stars from 4 is due to just that. This book, unlike the others I have read in this series is so focused on the mind of the murderer it almost caused me to stop reading.

Ensiform
The aged and mostly retired Scudder is working on a minor case --- to find out the background on an
AA acquaintance’s mysterious new boyfriend --- when death strikes close to Elaine. The demented serial killer with the razor-sharp intellect from Hope To Die is back, and out for revenge.

Block’s writing, if not at its full power, is still taut and fraught with suspense, and keeps the pages turning. Seeing the aged-in-real-time Scudder and all his cronies feels like a family reunion; that’s a great...more
Ruth
C2005: To the **star**/review police who may stumble across these comments, 1 star is referenced by GR itself as means “didn’t like it”. I did not like this book because of the contents. I did not realise that it involved harm to children (and a rape!) else I would not have picked up the book at all. But, it was the plot that I disliked not the style of writing. I did feel that perhaps it was too obvious a plot but that could be years of watching detective programmes and films so that what may h...more
Joyce McKune
Love Matt Scudder!
A man on death row claimed innocence all the way to his execution. Matt accidentally discovered the truth. A nightmare from his past.
Alberto
This one, along with its predecessor Hope to Die is the weakest title in the series IMO. (view spoiler)
The writing is great as usual but super masterminded serial killers are not credible to me. Also the inclusion of chapters related from the point of view of the criminal breaks the continuity.
Greggorio!
This book – the sixteenth in the extraordinary saga of New York Private Eye Matthew Scudder – is the excellent follow up to HOPE TO DIE. I must admit, having just completed book fifteen, that the meaning of the title never really became clear to me. But apart from that gripe, it was a totally riveting read. As the events contained within the opening chapters to ALL THE FLOWERS ARE DYING pass by your eyes in quick succession, the more you read of this book the more uncomfortable you become and ev...more
Bob
Matthew Scudder, a retired policeman and sometime unlicensed PI Is asked by a friend to look into the man who she is dating and about whom she has some doubts (story line 1). A man on death row in Virginia is visited by a psychologist who is doing a study on death row inmates. The psychologist carries on a narrative throughout the book that begins to tell who he is and what he has been doing and eventually his tale and Matthew’s story begin to converge as the story reaches its conclusion.
Katherine Clark
I love the Matt Scudder series, but this and the previous one were extremely annoying. Both featured one of those seemingly invulnerable serial killers, and much of the books were told through the eyes/voice of the serial killer. I've decided that I hate this. There was also some graphic torture scense (also a no-no for me) and just flat out distressing moments. I saw very little "detecting" and just a lot of anxiety. We'll see what the last book holds...
Monica
I think that my reviews for every Lawrence Block book in this Scudder series have all been similar...l love this series. The writing is deceptively simple...but this is the charm of Block’s writing; it's really more complex than it seems. He knows how to pack a lot into a few words. Through the sixteen books I've read, Matt and other characters have grown in wonderful ways. I can’t believe that Matt is now in his sixties!

The plots are sometimes detailed, sometimes they are charmingly modest. Eit...more
Gabrielle
This book is the first book in the series that I have read. I honestly enjoyed reading it. The book is about a man who awaits his execution in a Virginia State prison. He is accused of 3 brutal murders that he swears to his psychologist that he did not commit. His psychologist believes him but there is nothing he can do and he sadly watches him die by lethal injection. Later, the psychologist is called to investigate a different case and he later finds out for certain that this man could not hav...more
caitlin
Probably the best in the series. I couldn't put it down, and I cried.
Stephen Mettee
I'm a fan of Lawrence Block's Mathew Scudder series and this one doesn't disappoint. Classic Scudder. Block at his best.

Block didn't wait for his career as a writer to take off, he, unlike other struggling authors, invested time meeting with readers and booksellers. Even as a best-selling author, he would take it upon himself to tour the country giving talks at bookstore and signing books.

I intercepted him years and years ago when he visited the Fresno Barnes & Noble on one of those trips....more
Stuart Langridge

SUMMARY:
A man in a Virginia prison awaits execution for three horrific murders he must have committed but swears he didn't . . . An aging investigator in New York City has seen too much and lost too much -- and is ready to leave the darkness behind . . . But a nightmare is coming home -- because a brilliant, savage, patient monster has unfinished business in the big city . . . and a hunger that can be satisfied only by fear and the slow, agonizing death of Matthew Scudder and the woman he loves.

Kurt
There's plenty to enjoy here. I enjoyed the dialogue-heavy sections, especially those between the bad guy and some of his oblivious victims. On the whole, there are a few too many devices that become "buffalo on the horizon" rather quickly, leaving almost no time to become entranced in the mystery. I think you've got to like Lawrence Block's overall style and have enjoyed a boatload of Matt Scudder novels to get any oomph out of this one. Block has always seemed to me to be the master of creatin...more
Leew49
Scudder, now in his sixties and married to Elaine, avoids taking new cases as much as possible. But Louise, a friend from AA, is concerned about her secretive new boyfriend, and Scudder agrees to look into the matter. But a far more important and serious case intrudes in Scudder's life when Monica, the best friend of his wife Elaine, is brutally murdered by what Scudder believes to be a serial killer. Scudder manages to bring both cases to a successful conclusion, but not before almost being kil...more
Tristan Macavery
Lawrence Block never disappoints; this rule, in my experience, has never been broken. Some stories are better than others, yes, but Block is always brilliant. With this book, he has shattered even his own exceptionally high standards.

I hope and pray that this isn't the last time that we see Matt Scudder... but if it is, he has capped his career with what is unquestionably his most exciting and terrifying case ever. Borrowing some agonizingly exquisite evil from his own book, Small Town, Block cr...more
LJ
ALL THE FLOWERS ARE DYING (Private Investigator-New York-Cont) – Ex
Block, Lawrence – 16th novel in series
William Morrow, 2005 – Hardcover
Matt Scudder has been hired to investigate a woman's suspicious lover. In the meantime, there is a man on death row awaiting execution for murdering three boys. He has been befriended by a "psychologist" who clearly knows more about the murders than he does. And, when a friend of Elaine Scudder is brutally murdered, the threads are slowly tied together and head...more
Renee Pawlish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bookmarks Magazine

Block, like so many successful mystery writers, is a proven commodity. With a shelf full of awards (including four Edgars, four Shamus Awards, two Maltese Falcon Awards, the Nero Wolfe Award, and Grandmaster status from the Mystery Writers of America), he's established his mastery of riveting plots, compelling characters, and whip-smart dialogue. So what surprises does the 16th Matt Scudder mystery hold? Reviewers note the progression (or regression) towards the darker side of noir fiction, espe

...more
D
It's been a while since I have read a Scudder novel. They are all good, one of my favorite series. I don't think this one was the best of them, though they are all good. I have re-read a number of them and it's always like meeting up with an old friend. It seems like Scudder has lost a step or two over the years but I guess that's to be expected with age. This protagonist is perfectly, pathologically evil. Block hints at some past situation or misfortune that Abie experienced but it's never fles...more
David Fewtrell
Love the Matt Shudder series and I love Lawrence Block. Having said that this one is not one of the best in the series. I sort of like the sober aging Matt but prefer him still boozing. I thought that the alternating first person serial killer chapters were well written and horrific but for me they don't belong in a Matt Scudder book and I found myself looking forward to the Matt Scudder chapters. Still even a below par Lawrence Block book is better than most.
Sidney
A grim, gritty entry in the Matt Scudder series. It continues events begun in Hope to Die in Block's engaging style that's unflinching but sprinkled with humor. All of the familiars are on hand also, Elaine, TJ, Mick and Danny Boy plus some new and old cop friends.
Pamtallon
I listened to the unabridged audiobook read by the author. The voice seemed bland, but it works. Thoroughly enjoyed the book, though the violence was almost too much. I wish I could get more of Block's books as audiobooks from the library, but there are only a couple.
Sorcha
Jan 14, 2012 Sorcha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
Post 9/11 Matt Scudder story, where in his 60s, contently married to Elaine, all but retired and still sober, Scudder is as laid back and away from his old life as we've ever seen him.

However, winding his way across the states, returning to New York is a mass murderer, whose attention to detail, patience and changing MO has at least one man on death row for the rape and murder of three children he didn't commit.

Back in New York, and AB is killing time - and people - whilst planning a vengeance o...more
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17613
Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 2002.

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
More about Lawrence Block...
The Sins of the Fathers (Matthew Scudder, #1) Eight Million Ways to Die (Matthew Scudder, #5) Hit Man (Keller, #1) When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (Matthew Scudder, #6) Burglars Can't Be Choosers (Rhodenbarr, #1)

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