I really do truly love this series. I didn’t expect to tear through it as fast as I did and now I’ve only got a few to read. Stupid pandemic.
I’m also glad I read this series when I did. Had I gone through it in my early-20s, when I read my first Scudder, I don’t think I would have appreciated the solemn nature of Block’s famous detective, nor the shoe leather detective work he is known for.
This is in many ways the last Scudder book in which he is present in the present. Block actually wrote three more: one is a flashback novel, another a collection of short stories and the third a novella that places Scudder in modern times, no doubt trying to solve that One Final Case.
So I had high hopes for this one and for the most part, they were reached even though I knew what was coming (more on that later). Scudder is hired to look into something, it becomes a bigger something than he anticipated, so he goes traipsing around the city and shenanigans ensue.
But of course, there’s an overlying plot here. And it features…sigh…a diabolical serial killer.
Diabolical serial killer novels are my least favorite mystery reads by a factor of ten. I hate em, I hate that they often revolve around mutilated women and children, I hate how generally bland and uninteresting the characters are. Hate, hate, hate.
Block is a great writer so he manages to elevate this no matter what. But grrr…it just feels too familiar. There are already plenty of Scudder vs. Serial Killer novels in this series and I wish he would’ve let his hero go out on a different note.
It’s still a Scudder book and thus, I enjoyed the hell out of it. I just wish it would’ve had a different plot.