Cover image for Everybody dies
Everybody dies
Block, Lawrence.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Thorndike, Me. : Thorndike Press, 1999.

Physical Description:
459 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
Format :


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X Adult Large Print Large Print
X Adult Large Print Large Print
X Adult Large Print Large Print

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Matt Scudder is leading a comfortable life in New York until he signs on to help his dearest friend--the Hell's Kitchen hoodlum Mick "Butcher Boy" Ballou. Matt quickly discovers that the spruced-up sidewalks are as mean as ever, dark and gritty, and stained with blood. (August) Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

Author Notes

Lawrence Block is the author of the popular series' featuring Bernie Rhodenbarr, Matthew Scudder, and Chip Harrison. Over 2 million copies of Lawrence Block's books are in print. He has published articles and short fiction in American Heritage, Redbook, Playboy, GQ, and The New York Times, and has published several collections of short fiction in book form, most recently Collected Mystery Stories.

Block is a Grand Master of Mystery Writers of America. He has won the Edgar and Shamus awards four times, the Japanese Maltese Falcon award twice, as well as the Nero Wolfe award. In France, he was proclaimed a Grand Maitre du Roman Noir and has been awarded the Societe 813 trophy twice. Block was presented with the key to the city of Muncie, Indiana, and is a past president of the Private Eye Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.

(Bowker Author Biography) Lawrence Block is the author of the popular series featuring Bernie Rhodenbarr, Matthew Scudder, and Chip Harrison. Over 2 million copies of Lawrence Block's books are in print. Lawrence Block has won the Edgar Award three times, the Shamus Award four times, the Maltese Falcon Award twice, and was named Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The body count is indeed high in this latest Matt Scudder tale, which is also the best since A Walk Among the Tombstones (1993)‘resonant, thoughtful, richly textured and capped by a slam-bang windup. At the center of the case is Matt's old buddy, Mick Ballou, the murderous and hard-drinking Irish mobster with a deeply philosophical streak who is one of Block's most enduring creations. Two of Mick's henchmen have been killed in what should have been a routine liquor hijacking. After Scudder helps Mick bury the bodies at the mobster's upstate farm, he finds he has been targeted himself. Two hoods try to rough him up on the street, then an old friend, Matt's sponsor at Alcoholics Anonymous, is gunned down in a restaurant after being mistaken for Matt. It soon becomes clear that someone from Ballou's past is aiming to destroy him, and Matt, caught in the crossfire, has to try to determine who's behind the mayhem. He does so in his usual ruminative way, working it out with wife Elaine, streetwise sidekick TJ and old cop comrades who are now, because of his friendship with Ballou, against him. In the end, Matt has to stand alone with Ballou to put a stop to the vendetta in a blaze of gunfire. Block's seamless weave of thought and action, and his matchless gift for dialogue that is true, funny and revealing, have seldom been on more effective display. The pages leading up to the climax have an almost Shakespearean feel for human resignation in the face of mortality. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The prolific Block (e.g., Tanner on Ice, LJ 7/98) is well known among mystery fans for two series: one featuring Bernie Rhodenbarr and the other Matthew Scudder. This is the 14th Scudder tale, and by now the recovering alcoholic ex-cop has become respectable, with a wife and a PI license. When his best friend, an Irish gangster, finds himself the target of an unknown assassin, Scudder begins asking questions and soon joins the hit list as bodies begin to turn up. As usual, Block shows that actions have consequences‘past events come back with a vengeance, and Scudder's interior conflicts drive the series. The dialog is unusually stiff, but Block has won nearly every mystery award, his fans are legion, and any new Scudder story is sure to be in demand everywhere. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/98.]‘Roland C. Person, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Everybody Dies Chapter One Andy Buckley said, "Jesus Christ," and braked the Cadillac to a stop. I looked up and there was the deer, perhaps a dozen yards away from us in the middle of our lane of traffic. He was unquestionably a deer caught in the headlights, but he didn't have that stunned look the expression is intended to convey. He was lordly, and very much in command. C'mon," Andy said. "Move your ass, Mister Deer." "Move up on him," Mick said. "But slowly." "You don't want a freezer full of venison, huh?" Andy eased up on the brake and allowed the car to creep forward. The deer let us get surprisingly close before, with one great bound, he was off the road and out of sight in the darkened fields at the roadside. We'd come north on the Palisades Parkway, northwest on Route 17, northeast on 209. We were on an unnumbered road when we stopped for the deer, and a few miles farther we turned left onto the winding gravel road that led to Mick Ballou's farm. It was past midnight when we left, and close to two by the time we got there. There was no traffic, so we could have gone faster, but Andy kept us a few miles an hour under the speed limit, braked for yellow lights, and yielded at intersections. Mick and I sat in back, Andy drove, and the miles passed in silence. "You've been here before," Mick said, as the old two-story farmhouse came into view. "Twice." "Once after that business in Maspeth," he remembered. "You drove that night, Andy." "I remember, Mick." "And we'd Tom Heaney with us as well. I feared we might lose Tom. He was hurt bad, but scarcely made a sound. Well, he's from the North. They're a closemouthed lot." He meant the North of Ireland. "But you were here a second time? When was that?" "A couple of years ago. We made a night of it, and you drove me up to see the animals, and have a look at the place in daylight. And you sent me home with a dozen eggs." "Now I remember. And I'll bet you never had a better egg." "They were good eggs." "Big yolks the color of a Spanish orange. It's a great economy, keeping chickens and getting your own eggs. My best calculation is that those eggs cost me twenty dollars." "Twenty dollars a dozen?" "More like twenty dollars an egg. Though when herself cooks me a dish of them, I'd swear it was worth that and more." Herself was Mrs. O'Gara, and she and her husband were the farm's official owners. In the same fashion, there was somebody else's name on the Cadillac's title and registration, and on the deed and license for Grogan's Open House, the saloon he owned on the corner of Fiftieth and Tenth. He had some real estate holdings around town, and some business interests, but you wouldn't find his name on any official documents. He owned, he'd told me, the clothes on his back, and if put to it he couldn't even prove those were legally his. What you don't own, he'd said, they can't easily take away from you. Andy parked alongside the farmhouse. He got out of the car and lit a cigarette, lagging behind to smoke it while Mick and I climbed a few steps to the back porch. There was a light on in the kitchen, and Mr. O'Gara was waiting for us at the round oak table. Mick had phoned earlier to warn O'Gara that we were coming. "You said not to wait up," he said now, "but I wanted to make sure you had everything you'd need. I made a fresh pot of coffee." "Good man." "All's well here. Last week's rain did us no harm. The apples should be good this year, and the pears even better." "The summer's heat was no harm, then." "None as wasn't mended," O'Gara said. "Thanks be to God. She's sleeping, and I'll turn in now myself, if that's all right. But you've only to shout for me if you need anything." "We're fine," Mick assured him. "We'll be out back, and we'll try not to disturb you." "Sure, we're sound sleepers," O'Gara said. "Ye'd wake the dead before ye'd wake us." O'Gara took his cup of coffee upstairs with him. Mick filled a thermos with coffee, capped it, then found a bottle of Jameson in the cupboard and topped up the silver flask he'd been nipping from all night. He returned it to his hip pocket, got two six-packs of O'Keefe's Extra Old Stock ale from the refrigerator, gave them to Andy, and grabbed up the thermos jar and a coffee mug. We got back into the Cadillac and headed farther up the drive, past the fenced chicken yard, past the hogpen, past the barns, and into the old orchard. Andy parked the car, and Mick told us to wait while he walked back to what looked like an old-fashioned outhouse straight out of Li'l Abner, but was evidently a toolshed. He came back carrying a shovel. He picked a spot and took the first turn, sinking the shovel into the earth, adding his weight to bury the blade to the hilt. Last week's rain had done no harm. He bent, lifted, tossed a shovelful of earth aside. I uncapped the thermos and poured myself some coffee. Andy lit a cigarette and cracked a can of ale. Mick went on digging. We took turns, Mick and Andy and 1, opening a deep oblong hole in the earth alongside the pear and apple orchard. There were a few cherry trees as well, Mick said, but they were sour cherries, good only for pies, and it was easier to let the birds have them than to go to the trouble of picking them, taking into account that the birds would get most of them whatever you did. Everybody Dies . Copyright © by Lawrence Block. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Everybody Dies by Lawrence Block All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.