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When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (Matthew Scudder Series) Mass Market Paperback – April 30, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
"When the Sacred Ginmill Closes" was written in 1986. Scudder narrates from the viewpoint of that year, but the story actually takes place 10 years earlier, when Scudder was still drinking heavily. It is very much a bar story; most of the action takes place in and around these establishments in New York City and its environs. There are many Irish in the story, as players, bartenders and owners, so there is always just a dash of an accent in the air. When the wife of one friend is murdered, and the illegal accounting records of another are stolen, Matthew Scudder is drawn in as 'a friend who does favors for money.' Scudder, an ex-cop who left the force when a ricocheting bullet accidentally killed a child, survives by being a not quite private eye in the moments between drinks.
This is a tough story, about hard-bitten people. While drinking hasn't destroyed the lives of any of Scudder's friends yet, it has hollowed many of them out. Beneath the smiling exteriors lie anger and greed and sorrow. As Matthew digs and considers in his search for answers, he uncovers much of the masquerade. This is a story about betrayals, some subtle and some not.Read more ›
This was the third Scudder mystery I have read, and they have all been excellent. There are several fast moving plot lines that are expertly intertwined; there is quality writing; and the dialogue is sharp and accurate. But, like any great work of fiction, the novel goes much deeper. An unforgettable novel, I highly recommend it.
First of all, Block is a very hit or miss author. He has written dozens of books and maybe only 25% of them are Scudder novels. He has written just as many 'Burglar' books that are more akin to Agatha Christy than Dashiel Hammett, and I am not their biggest fan. Besides that, Block has written countless short stories and started a few other series' that are in comparison to Scudder, uninspired.
What Block has done here is not write just one book and then continue to revise the same plot over and over as so many mystery writers do. Instead, as a reader you should start at the beginning of this series 'Sins of our Fathers' where you will find a Matthew Scudder, moderately in control of his alcoholism. This is not the best Block, but it is pretty important to follow the development of this amazing character from one book to the next.
By the time you come to 'Ginmill,' '8 Million Ways to Die,' or others further along in the series, you will have found yourself keenly aware of the small developments of Matthew Scudder as a character. 'Ginmill' is a key Scudder novel in that it marks a transitional point that opens up new horizons in coming books and acts as a bridge in many ways. If you have not read the preceding books, and don't wait to judge 'Ginmill' until reading a few more, this will not be apparent.
Secondly, 'Ginmill,' like all of the Scudder novels, is not earth shattering.Read more ›
This particular episode in the Matthew Scudder series takes place in New York City in 1975. Matt Scudder is a former Special Forces hero, an ex NYC cop, and a current and committed drinker who does favors for friends in exchange for money. Even though he and his friends spend most days and nights drinking heavily, none of them considers themselves to be alcoholics. All of them profess to be able to stop drinking at the drop of a hat, but somehow that never seems to happen. They just sort of stumble around together in sort of a "groundhog day", chasing their next drink and not much else.
Unfortunately (and surprisingly) a few of his friends get themselves into difficult situations, and Matt finds himself collecting three different paychecks while looking for answers. He is the type of (unlicensed) private eye who walks in circles and gathers countless bits of information until he hits that "Eureka" moment where everything falls together. Sometimes the smallest piece of information.....
Matt has his hands full with these cases and not everyone is who they seem to be. The problem is figuring out who is responsible for each crime and then extracting retribution without involving the local coppers. Not surprisingly, the Irish have their own way of balancing the scales. Innovative, tricky and effective.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Too different in style than previous books. Could have Ben ghost written. Hope the next picks up Scudder character developmentPublished 3 months ago by Carl D.
...of marginal New Yorkers whose lives revolve around how they will get their drinking done. A brilliantly evocative novel with terrific sense of time and place... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dean Speir
Up until this book, I had a hard time putting a Matthew Scudder novel down. They were real page turners! This one just never grabbed me. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jacob