When the Sacred Ginmill Closes by Lawrence Block
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is the sixth in the series about Matthew Scudder, an alcoholic ex-policeman turned unlicensed private eye. And like the other great loners of crime fiction (Andrew Vachss’ Burke, Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor, and James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux to name a few) Scudder exists in a world of lost and lonely melancholy on the rain swept streets of New York City. Sitting in an after-hours bar with some acquaintances, Scudder is witness to a robbery. He thinks little of it until the wife of one his acquaintances is murdered and he is retained to clear the man's name. It is only then that Scudder finds the link between the two cases, and much more than he bargained for. Block himself and several others have pointed to this novel as one of his finest, and its easy to see why. His main character is fully drawn, faults and all, and his deeply introspective nature is very thoughtfully and compellingly written. Scudder is haunted by the pain of his past and the alcoholism of his present, but his old cop instincts are still there, and with a mix of luck and guile, he is able to make a difference. This compelling character study is not to be missed. When the Sacred Ginmill Closes - amazon.com
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