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Everybody Dies (Matthew Scudder #14)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,484 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Matt Scudder is finally leading a comfortable life. The crime rate's down and the stock market's up. Gentrification's prettying-up the old neighborhood. The New York streets don't look so mean anymore.

Then all hell breaks loose.

Scudder quickly discovers the spruced-up sidewalks are as mean as ever, dark and gritty and stained with blood. He's living in a world where the pa...more
Paperback, 369 pages
Published November 9th 1999 by Avon (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

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I want a friend like Matt Scudder. Why? Because Matt is the kind of guy who will drop everything to come over and help you dispose of a couple of bodies in the middle of the night, and then you wouldn‘t even have to worry that he‘d take your last beer out of the fridge. (You know, because of the whole alcoholism thing.) I have a hard time getting a buddy to come over and help me move a couch, let alone take a midnight run to give a couple of corpses the shallow grave treatment.

Matt’s friend, th...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Jun 21, 2013 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: hardboiled detective fans
Who is ready to weigh in on "How many books in a series is too much?"
( )
Though Lawrence Block is on his 14th book about investigator Matthew Scudder, he has yet to reach the "too much" point. Despite being book 14, Everybody Dies still manages to surprise.

Mick Ballou has been backed into a corner. He suspects he's the target of a personal attack, but needless to say, he can't seek protection from the police. He requests Matt's help, and drives him out to...more
Dan Schwent
Someone has declared war on Mick Ballou and his criminal enterprises and Matthew Scudder is caught in the middle, first having a friend gunned down in front of him and then nearly being killed at Mick's bar. Can Matt figure out who is behind the attacks before anyone else close to him is killed?

Wow. After I finished Even the Wicked, I thought Lawrence Block might have been phoning in the rest of them. How wrong I was!

The thing that keeps me coming back to the Matthew Scudder books is the fluid n...more
James Thane
I've long run out of superlatives to use when describing Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder novels which remain, easily, my favorite crime fiction series.

This is due entirely to the richly-drawn character that Block has created in Scudder who has continued to grow and evolve through seventeen novels and a number of short stories, published over a period of thirty-five years. It's hard to imagine a fan of crime fiction who has not yet encountered these books, but for those who might not know, Scudd...more
there's a joke in the 'black' chapter of truly tasteless jokes:

q. what's the harlem branch of toys-r-us called?
a. we be toys.

that book was written in, like, 1983. and everybody dies, written in 1998, has a character who actually speaks like that. now, this ain't about political correctness; i love poking fun at shifty black folks, cheap jews, dumb polacks (one in particular), and so on and on and on... it's just that in '98 nobody really talked like that. and TJ - the black character in the boo...more
Lawrence Block doing what he does best! This is an excellent example of why the author is a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master and multiple winner of both the Edgar Allen Poe and Shamus awards.

Several things I should mention right up front: I am a huge Lawrence Block fan -- particularly his Matthew Scudder series -- I think Mick Ballou is one of THE BEST secondary characters ever created (seriously, the guy is well worth a series in his own right) and I've always been more fond of the earl...more
Wilson Lanue
Like another Scudder story before it (Sacred Ginmill), this is not just a great mystery but a great book. This is literature, folks.
Scudder’s Irish gangster friend Mick Ballou hires Scudder to investigate who may be out to move in on his territory, or perhaps kill him. Matt starts asking questions, and... everybody dies. Well, not quite everybody, but there’s a considerable death count. This book follows the pattern set by the previous three --- disappointing, thrilling, disappointing and now thrilling again.

Yes, this time around I again guessed at the villain’s identity (though to be fair this wasn’t as obvious and labored...more
May 27, 2013 Larou added it
Shelves: crime-fiction
When, in my post on the previous entry in Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder series, I wrote that it marked a return to form, I was expecting the remaining novels to be solid and mostly unadventurous, with the series settling into a comfortable groove that it would run along in until it eventually came to an end. In consequence, I was more than just a bit surprised to find out that this late in the series there would still be a novel that holds its place besides works like Eight Million Ways to Di...more
This was easily one of my favorites in the Scudder series. There's a strong sense of dread and unease that carries through much of the book. While I knew going in that there were other books in the series beyond this one, I still found myself worried that, somehow, this might be Scudder's last case. (view spoiler)...more
Mick Ballou, Matt’s criminal friend who’s not afraid to lift his butchers cleaver and take a life or two, is in big trouble. Someone is killing people close to Mick, and trying to kill Mick himself...and this is affecting Matt in a big way. Of course neither Mick nor Matt can get the police involved, and so once again Matt is off solving the problem on his own. Block once again, without fail, creates a story that is completely entrancing. Once again: great dialogue, a good who-done-it, strong ch...more
Tony Gleeson
I strongly suggest NOT reading this one until you've followed most or all of the preceding Matthew Scudder books. This is as much a summing-up of what came before as Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions" was, I think. Like so many of the Scudder books, this one works on a lot of levels as a great story with vivid characterizations, wryly humorous but darkly cynical. I was frankly disappointed that Block even considered carrying on after this: the next book in the series was weirdly different in to...more
This was my favorite in the Matthew Scudder series simply because it starred my favorite backup character in the series--Mick Ballou. He is not a nice character, but there is something definitely likeable about him and I can totally understand why Matthew chooses to be friends with him. This story revolves around someone trying to kill Mick (surprise, surprise for a gangster) and Matthew has to help him or run the risk of being killed himself. The mystery portion is well-written and the solution...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen Kaminski
Classic Scudder mystery. Love the interaction with Mick, TJ, and Elaine!
Private detective Matt Scudder is in late middle age, married, reasonably successful in his career, and several years into sobriety. One might think he would be able to settle back and enjoy life. But his longtime friend, the gangster Mick Ballou, has been targeted by an anonymous killer who has no compunctions about hurting those close to Ballou in order to get to him. And so Scudder becomes another target, driven to fight back and once again make himself an ally of the dangerous Irishman.

Another of the Matt Scudder series. He has his life cleaned up and is married.. Then he helps a friend from Hells Kitchen and people begin dying. I still like his wry humor but still is not as good as The Hit Man series. After 5 or 6 of Reacher and Scudder books, I have to get back to family sagas and/or historical novels. Looking forward to Follett's 2nd book in his new trilogy to be published in September. Also Gone Girl is recommended as well as Shoemaker's Daughter.
May 05, 2014 Temple rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
"We got in the car. He started it up. I found myself trying to determine if the car felt any lighter now that we didn't have Andy with us anymore, and then I remembered that the weight was the same. He'd been behind the wheel before, and now he was in the trunk."

Can't beat this book for the best crime noir has to offer. Wonderful dialogue. Excellent read. I gave it 5 stars.
Continuing Block's Matthew Scudder series, Everybody Dies is another hard hitting mystery novel. Matt's gangster friend Mick had been targeted but it doesn't seem to be by a competitor. Being on the wrong side of the law, Mick cannot call in the police and hesitates to ask his friend to put his life on the line to investigate the case.
Was worried that the Scudder series was going to drop off a bit as the previous one wasn't quite as good as the others but LB is bang on form again with this one. Probably my second favourite of the series and almost 5 stars. Certainly lives up to its title as well - the "Red Wedding" of Scudder books !
This is a later title than DANCE AT THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE, the Matt Scudder I read a bit earlier. Matt's butcher friend Mick Ballou plays a big role in this story. I enjoyed SLAUGHTERHOUSE a little more, I believe. Not sure why. Still a satisfying hardboiled read but Matt has a big heart.
Christopher Bevard
Uh, yeah. Some titles wear their plots on their sleeves. Good god, Larry.
Starting this book I was a bit worried that I would miss a lot since I had not read the earlier Matthew Scudder books. After a few chapters I found that my fears were clearly unfounded. Block did an good job introducing the characters without throwing entire histories at us. I imagine there is a wrinkle here or there I did not pick up on, but on the whole I enjoyed meeting the characters and did not feel lost in a sea of established faces.

The story itself had some predictable twists and turns. I...more
As the Scudder series continues, Lawrence Block gets more philosophical. Block ponders some deep life questions in this one about friendship and faith and complicated relationships. I like the way the way the continuing characters deepen. It is quite a satisfying series. Be prepared for a good bit of suspense and violence.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jim A
Scudder novels by Lawrence Block are like McGee novels by MacDonald, comfort food for the mind. Always there when I don't know what I want to read. Always an entertaining story without going overboard.
Apr 06, 2014 Eliana added it
Really enjoyed the entire Matthew Scudder series. I used to live in NYC, and his descriptions/situations always resonate with authenticity. Plus I love the way the relationship evolves with Matt and Elaine.
This is my first serious Lawrence Block, after reading all of his comic "The Burglar Who..." series. The cover blurb says it's very, very dark and very, very good--which is exactly accurate. The characters are vivid and real. Mick Ballou is a larger-than-life, charming, story-telling, Irishman who is also a sociopath. And he is one of Matthew Scudder's best friends. He dominates this book just as he fills every room he enters. An unforgettable character. The action is tense, the details of the p...more
Alan Baxter
This is the 14th Matt Scudder novel but the first I've read. I enjoyed it immensely - great plotting and excellent characters. Mick Ballou in particular is an absolute classic. I'll definitely try to get hold of some more of these.
Joyce McKune
Matt lost friends and saved friends but never stopped looking until he found the guy who started the mini war.
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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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“Fuck you! I hope you die!"
"Everybody Dies," I said. "So fuck you.”
“It's enough of a strain killing people. I've no time for deer.
--Mick Ballou”
More quotes…