All The Flowers Are Dying

Lawrence Block is at the top of his game.  Then again, he’s written fifty or a hundred books (I’ve lost count) and as far as I know, he’s never been anything but at the top of his game. ALL THE FLOWERS ARE DYING is prime "Matt Scudder" and Block at his best.  The writing is lean and assured, the story fast-moving, the character strokes deft and memorable.  Some of the scenes are vividly violent and disturbing, but they never feel gratuitous, or ugly for  shock value. The plotting is tight, the  pace ratcheting up the suspense with skilled ease.  Block  isn’t called the Grandmaster at this stuff for nothing, folks.

The prose isn’t the least bit self-conscious or arty and yet stunningly effective. Once again, he reminds us that sometimes the old pros at crime writing do it a whole lot better than the new wave of writers who think they’ve reinvented the form.  I doubt there are many writers out there who consistently deliver the way Block does. The book is a lesson in writing…from a guy who wrote the book on how to write books (actually, he’s written three excellent how-to books, but who’s counting?).

ALL THE FLOWERS ARE DYING is crime writing at its best. Don’t be put off by the fact it’s number 107 or something in the Scudder series — you don’t have to have read a single Scudder tale get the wallop this one delivers (though the punch is stronger if you have).  You’ll be seeing this one talked about again come Edgar time next year…

2 thoughts on “All The Flowers Are Dying”

  1. Thanks for posting this. I had no idea he had another Scudder out. I’m a huge Lawrence Block fan, and adore his Bernie Rhodenbarrs, but Scudder is hands down my favorite. Guess I get to go book shopping today.


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