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A Walk Among the Tombstones (Matthew Scudder #10)

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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  3,237 ratings  ·  281 reviews
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 ru ...more
Paperback, 339 pages
Published December 7th 2000 by Orion (first published January 1st 1992)
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Tfitoby Having read the first 10 now I'd say you definitely get more if you watch the characters grow. There's a fantastic emotional arc for Scudder,…moreHaving read the first 10 now I'd say you definitely get more if you watch the characters grow. There's a fantastic emotional arc for Scudder, especially in the first 5 and if you read anything after book 9 before book 9 you'll miss out on what would otherwise be a rather shocking moment in the series. But if you just want to read the book before the movie go for it, as everybody else has said Block writes so well that you can just dip in and out if you choose to.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kemper
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 cut
...more
brian
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 ...more
Dan 1.0
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 po
...more
Carol.
Sep 13, 2012 Carol. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Block fans, mystery fans who like the wrong side of the law
Recommended to Carol. by: Kemper, Dan
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 characte
...more
James Thane
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 ca ...more
Brandon
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
...more
Tfitoby
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 ...more
Anthony Vacca
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 take ...more
Maxine
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
...more
Hester
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
...more
L
Dec 20, 2014 L rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
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 g ...more
Ty Wilson
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 attac ...more
Larry
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 fr ...more
Crimmas
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.
Steven Montano
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
...more
Ed
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.
Robert
I'll start off by saying the author fooled me... or maybe I fooled myself into spotting what I thought was an obvious clue which pointed the finger squarely at specific suspect. The clue was not only obvious, but repeatedly alluded to. It was too obvious in fact. I don't know if the author intentionally meant it to be a Red-Herring or not, but it succeeded in sending me off on entirely the wrong tract. So, kudos for that Mr. Block

The story itself is a bit dated, but very reminiscent of the earl
...more
Rabha Almahdi
Sep 29, 2014 Rabha Almahdi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hajer Elmahdi
يبداء كتاب المؤلف الامريكى "لورنس بلوك" بتهويدة مرعبة قد تطير النوم من اعينكم ومن ثم يبدأ فى سرد الرواية ... كنعان خورى تاجر المخدرات الذى يتم اختطاف زوجته من امام محل للبقالة ليتلقى اتصالا يطالبه بدفع فدية مقابل عودتها اليه ، الا انه بعد دفعه للفدية لم يستلم الا جثتها مقطعة وموضوعة فى اكياس بلاستيكية، ينصحه شقيقه بتوكيل "ماثيو سكدر" المحقق الخاص لاكتشاف من قام بهذه الجريمة البشعة وذلك بالطبع لعدم قدرة تاجر المخدرات على ادخال الشرطة الى حياته ... محققنا الذى يكافح للبقاء صاحيا وبعيدا عن الكحول ي ...more
Donna
With his usual remarkable ability to evoke life-like characters, Lawrence Block has created a real spectrum in this novel—from the delightful TJ, homeless teen and emerging genius, to the most horrific monsters imaginable.

Matt Scudder's relationship with Elaine is coming along nicely in this episode, in which those who habitually engage in a life of crime become multidimensional and sympathetic and the most heinous act of revenge seems justified. Even the reader is hooked into a world in which
...more
Joe  Noir
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 fa ...more
Ensiform
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 re
...more
Johnny
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 ...more
Tim Niland
Ex-NYPD policeman Matthew Scudder is an off the books private eye in New York City. An alcoholic staying sober one day at a time with the help of AA he takes jobs that most PI's won't touch or wouldn't be approached to do. When the wife of a big time drug smuggler is kidnapped in broad daylight, then murdered and dismembered, the dealer is unwilling to go to the police, but asks Scudder to look into what happened and find out who was responsible. He takes on the job with mixed feelings, but soon ...more
Lobo
Ha kézbe veszek egy Block regényt, akkor mindig biztos lehetek abban, hogy beszippant New York, a nagyváros és szívdobogást fogok kapni, amikor arról olvasok, hogy miféle sötét bugyrai vannak az emberi pszichének.

Volt az utolsó harmadban egy rész, amikor 5 percenként le kellett raknom a könyvet. Még meg is jegyeztem, hogy “Annyi a feszültség ebben a Scudder regényben, hogy le kellett tennem a metrón, mielőtt elpattanok.” Úgyhogy igen, megkaptam a szokásos szívdobogást is, amikor azon izgultam, h
...more
Aramys
Siempre es genial leer a Block, y esta no es una excepción. Pero ésta novela es de las más largas que he leído de la serie hasta ahora, y eso se nota, la trama es bastante lenta, ha muchas partes en que apenas suceden cosas y Matt va de aquí para allá sin hacer demasiado. Sumemosle una resolución del caso algo floja para mi gusto y tenemos una novela un poco por debajo que las anteriores. Aún así leer a Block siempre es un placer.
Arlene Allen
Having seen the movie first (which terrified me) I expected the same from the book. But Block is much more subtle than that and he deftly manages to scare while evoking portraits of real, flawed people. The only gripe I have with the book is the seemingly red herring with the wrong numbers and his girlfriend. The ending was sad as they are in most of his cases. His New York is a very sad place.
Craig Pittman
A taut and twisty thriller that doesn't shy away from peering into the darkest corners of the human psyche. I didn't give it five stars only because the final clue to the identity of the psychopaths kidnapping, torturing and killing women was so obvious I nearly yelled at the book, but finally the author allowed the detective to figure out its significance.
Lily Hawkins
This was my first book read written by Lawerance Block. I would highly recommend it to my friends, especially those that enjoy crime novels.
Sarah Koontz
Great read but it is gritty & graphic, not for everyone.
Linda
I saw the movie; I had to read the book. Most of the time I find the book better, simply because the movie has to have more "action" and not make as much sense. I have to admit that this movie has some better parts, but all the parts hang together better in the book.

Even though I knew the story and the outcome, I didn't put this book down until I was done. Block's writing is fast-paced, almost fast enough that you feel like you are skipping over parts when you aren't. Or, put differently, I some
...more
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Mysteries & C...: November read - A walk among the tombstones 22 59 Nov 19, 2014 01:34PM  
  • And Four to Go (Nero Wolfe #30)
  • The Handle (Parker, #8)
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  • Mortal Stakes (Spenser, #3)
  • Frank Sinatra in a Blender
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...

Other Books in the Series

Matthew Scudder (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • The Sins of the Fathers (Matthew Scudder, #1)
  • Time to Murder and Create (Matthew Scudder, #2)
  • In the Midst of Death (Matthew Scudder, #3)
  • A Stab in the Dark (Matthew Scudder, #4)
  • Eight Million Ways to Die (Matthew Scudder, #5)
  • When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (Matthew Scudder, #6)
  • Out on the Cutting Edge (Matthew Scudder, #7)
  • A Ticket to the Boneyard (Matthew Scudder, #8)
  • A Dance At The Slaughterhouse (Matthew Scudder, #9)
  • The Devil Knows You're Dead (Matthew Scudder, #11)
The Sins of the Fathers (Matthew Scudder, #1) Eight Million Ways to Die (Matthew Scudder, #5) When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (Matthew Scudder, #6) Hit Man (Keller, #1) Burglars Can't Be Choosers (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #1)

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“Come on in,” Elaine said. “She’s already here. Pam, this is Mr. Scudder, Matthew Scudder. Matt, I’d like you to meet Pam.” 1 likes
“It was still there, a low-grade fever in the blood, an itch somewhere down beneath the skin, where you couldn’t scratch it.” 1 likes
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