One of the most highly-regarded mystery writers in the business, Lawrence Block has written over 50 novels during his career. He was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and was awarded the Gumshoe Lifetime Achievement Award by Mystery Ink.
Matt Scudder books by Lawrence Block that I have read
Back of the book summary: The hooker was young, pretty….and dead, butchered in a Greenwich Village apartment. The prime suspect, a minister’s son, was also dead, the victim of a jailhouse suicide. The case is closed as far as the NYPD is concerned. Now the murdered prostitute’s father wants it opened again — and that’s where Matthew Scudder comes in. But this assignment carries the unmistakable stench of sleaze and perversion, luring ex-cop-turned-investigator Scudder into a sordid world of phony religion and murderous lust where children must die for the parents’ most secret, unspeakable sins.
Back of the book summary: Bad cop Jerry Broadfield didn’t make any friends on the force when he volunteered to squeal to an ambitious DA about police corruption. Now he’s accused of murdering a call girl. Matthew Scudder doesn’t think Broadfield is a killer, but the cops aren’t about to help an unlicensed PI prove it — and they may do a lot worse than just get in his way.
Back of the book summary: Small-time stoolie, Jake “The Spinner” Jablon, made a lot of new enemies when he switched careers, from informer to blackmailer. And the more “clients,” he figured, the more money — and the more people eager to see him dead. So no one is surprised when the pigeon is found floating in the East River with his skull bashed in. And what’s worse, no one cares — except for Matthew Scudder. The ex-cop-turned-private-eye is no conscientious avenging angel. But he’s willing to risk is own life and limb to confront Spinner’s most murderously aggressive marks. A job’s a job after all — and Scudder’s been paid to find a killer — by the victim….in advance.
Back of the book summary: Louis Pinnell, the recently apprehended “Icepick Prowler,” freely admits to have slain seven young women nine years ago — but he swears it was a copycat who killed Barbara Ettinger. Matthew Scudder believes him. But the trail to Ettinger’s murderer is twisted, dark and dangerous….and even colder than the almost decade-old corpse the PI is determined to avenge.
Back of the book summary: A frightened hooker named Kim asked private investigator Matthew Scudder to help her get out of “the Life.” Now she’s dead, slashed to ribbons in a high-rise hotel. Finding her killer will be Scudder’s penance. But there are lethal secrets hiding in Kim’s past that are far dirtier than her past — and many ways to die in this cruel and dangerous town.
Back of the book summary: In the dark days, in a sad and lonely place, ex-cop Matt Scudder is drinking his life away — and doing favors for pay for his ginmill cronies. But when three such assignments flow together in dangerous and disturbing ways, he’ll need to change his priorities from boozing to surviving.
Back of the book summary: Matthew Scudder understands the futility of his search for a longtime missing Midwestern innocent who wanted to be a an actress in the vast meat-grinder called New York City. But her frantic father heard that Scudder is the best — and now the ex-cop-turned-p.i. is scouring the hell called Hell’s Kitchen looking for anything that might resemble a lead. And in this neighborhood of the lost, he’s finding love — and death — in the worst possible places.
Back of the book review: Twelve years ago, Matthew Scudder lied to a jury to put James Leo Motley behind bars. now the ingenious psychopath is free. And an alcoholic ex-cop-turned-p.i. must pay dearly for his sins. Friend and former lovers — even strangers unfortunate enough to share Scudder’s name — are suddenly turning up dead. Because a vengeful maniac is determined not to rest until he’s driven his nemesis first back to the bottle….and then to the boneyard.
Back of the book review: A successful socialite’s beautiful wife was raped and murdered in her own home — and Matt Scudder believes the victim’s “grieving” husband was responsible for the outrage. To prove it, the haunted p.i. must descend into the depths of New York’s sex-for-sale underworld, where young lives commodities to be bought, perverted….and destroyed.
Back of the book review: A ruthless, ingenious pair of entrepreneurial is preying on the loved ones of those who live outside the law. Though he has no love for drug dealers and poison peddlers, ex-cop-turned-p.i. Matthew Scudder now must help them put two thrill-kill extortionists out of business — before another drop of innocent blood is spilled.
Back of the book summary: A deranged derelict, a crazed Vietnam vet, has been arrested for gunning down successful young lawyer Glenn Holtzmann at a corner phone booth on Eleventh Avenue — and the suspect’s brother wants p.i. Matthew Scudder to prove the madman innocent. But Scudder’s curiosity and dedication are leading him to dark, unexplored places in his own heart….and to passions and secrets that could destroy everything he loves.
Back of the book summary: A concerned member of the Club of 31 has asked ex-cop Matthew Scudder to look into the baffling thirty-year run of suicides and suspicious “accidents” that has thinned the ranks of the clandestine fraternal order of businessmen. But the Club’s woes threaten to intensify Scudder’s own mortality problems, whether bizarre coincidence is to blame….or maddeningly patient serial killer.
Matt Scudder books by Lawrence Block on my reading list