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Everybody Dies (Matthew Scudder #14)

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  2,392 Ratings  ·  98 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
Paperback, 369 pages
Published November 9th 1999 by Avon (first published 1998)
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James Thane
Sep 03, 2012 James Thane rated it really liked it
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
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
Bill  Kerwin
Dec 22, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it it was amazing
This was a pleasant surprise. Not long ago I completed Even the Wicked, Matt Scudder’s 13th adventure, and, although it wasn’t exactly bad, it was bad enough that I had begun to fear Scudder was past his best days. But then I read his 14th adventure Everybody Dies, and decided it was one of his best, right up there with the classics Eight Million Ways to Die and When the Sacred Ginmill Closes.

To be fair, though, I might be rating it too highly, for at the center of this tale is the fascinating,
Oct 30, 2012 Carol. rated it really liked it
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
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
Sep 17, 2014 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone without a heart condition/stress issues.
“The most successful war seldom pays for its losses.” –Thomas Jefferson

Lawrence Block’s fourteenth entry in his long running Matt Scudder series is by far the most tragic. The loss of life within these pages is astounding and there came a time near the end where I thought very few would make it out alive. Hell, if I didn’t know there were more books to follow, I’d have had my doubts about Matt too.

Matt’s close friend – and ruthless Irish gangster – Mick Ballou is at war. Someone is picking off m
May 30, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the better Noir novel
Recommended to Mark by: Ed Lynskey
The title of this book seems to ring true when you close the book having finished it. In this 14th tale Matt's butcher friend Mick Ballou plays a big role in this story and the story starts with a burial at his farm.

Matt is married and enjoying his life when a lot of violence enters his life due to his friendship with a "gangster" who did ask him to look into the dead of some of his employees and who might be behind this. It all turns into a bloody finale in which everybody dies.

Another well wri
Oct 10, 2011 brian rated it liked it
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
Oct 18, 2012 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mike French
Nov 03, 2016 Mike French rated it really liked it
Lawrence Block is one of my favorite authors and The Matthew Scudder series have been enjoyable and entertaining . Everybody Dies is no exception to my enjoyable experience. Looking forward to reading more of this series!
Dec 08, 2008 Ed rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 04, 2013 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 !
Wilson Lanue
Jul 07, 2012 Wilson Lanue rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Like another Scudder story before it (Sacred Ginmill), this is not just a great mystery but a great book. This is literature, folks.
Richard White
Jun 07, 2016 Richard White rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
Wow! I've said it before and I'll say it again, one of the best series ever. 14 down only three more to go. Stay tuned for a final review on the entire series.
Feb 19, 2012 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
Craig Childs
Mar 18, 2015 Craig Childs rated it it was amazing
After the disappointing Even the Wicked, I was afraid the Matt Scudder novels might be running out of steam. Not to worry because the follow-up Everybody Dies is one of the most entertaining entries in the entire series. I enjoy the way Block manages to avoid the cliché of putting his detective-hero in harm’s way during every investigation, but when he decides to make it personal, he pulls no punches. This is the first time since A Ticket to the Boneyard that you really feel like Block could hav ...more
Craig Pittman
Jun 26, 2015 Craig Pittman rated it liked it
The title of this book is a little misleading. A more accurate one would be: "Almost Everybody Dies." Block's New York private eye, recovering alcoholic Matt Scudder, sees more than a few of the people around him catch a bullet or worse.

In some ways this book reminded me of Dashiell Hammett's novel "Red Harvest," because it involves a private eye caught in the middle of a gang war. As with that novel, the detective has a mystery to solve but it's not a major part of the plot. Instead we get a nu
Jan 29, 2012 Ensiform rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, mystery
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
Nov 29, 2012 Roybot rated it really liked it
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
Tony Gleeson
Nov 21, 2008 Tony Gleeson rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 15, 2014 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 28, 2013 Jaret rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 4-5-star-books
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
Mar 30, 2008 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 20, 2012 Faith rated it liked it
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.
Aug 05, 2012 Temple rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 20, 2012 Dagny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: block-lawrence
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.
Jim A
Aug 13, 2014 Jim A rated it really liked it
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.
May 17, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, crime
Great as always.

Its the growth, change and acceptance that pervades Matt's life that make him such an enduring and powerful character.

This time the growth and change is primarily focused on the recurring character of Mick Ballou - which means this is a bloody thrill ride of a book.

Oct 09, 2015 Cindy rated it really liked it
Good plotting and Matt Scudder is likeable in that dustcloud over your head way (Pigpen-Charlie Brown). Gore, profanity and sex — we're talking about Lawrence Block!! With those warnings - Recommended. Well narrated.
Christopher Bevard
Jun 19, 2014 Christopher Bevard rated it really liked it
Uh, yeah. Some titles wear their plots on their sleeves. Good god, Larry.
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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 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)
  • A Walk Among the Tombstones (Matthew Scudder, #10)

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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…