- Series: Matthew Scudder (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Avon (April 30, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780380763634
- ISBN-13: 978-0380763634
- ASIN: 038076363X
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 206 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sins of the Fathers (Matthew Scudder) Mass Market Paperback – April 30, 2002
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From the Back Cover
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 their parents most secret, unspeakable sins.
About the Author
Lawrence Block is one of the most widely recognized names in the mystery genre. He has been named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America and is a four-time winner of the prestigious Edgar and Shamus Awards, as well as a recipient of prizes in France, Germany, and Japan. He received the Diamond Dagger from the British Crime Writers' Association—only the third American to be given this award. He is a prolific author, having written more than fifty books and numerous short stories, and is a devoted New Yorker and an enthusiastic global traveler.
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I'm not a fast reader but I managed to read this in one day, I really, really enjoyed it! Its fast paced and a very entertaining read, I thought the overall story line was well thought out and I loved how well developed the characters are.
This book is about us (the reader) getting to know Matthew Scudder, I think it did a great job, I love how he thinks and I find his eternal battle over good and evil very interesting.
The book is about a murder and a suicide, but is not overly gory. While the crime scene is described its not near as bad as some of the TV shows out there. I liked that the story focuses more on Scudder and finding the truth then about getting every gory detail in.
I'm definitely going to read more of this series!
For anyone that is interested in reading the series in order, here is a list I got offline:
List of Matthew Scudder novels
The Sins of the Fathers (1976)
In the Midst of Death (1976)
Time to Murder and Create (1977)
A Stab in the Dark (1981)
Eight Million Ways to Die (1982)
When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (1986)
Out on the Cutting Edge (1989)
A Ticket to the Boneyard (1990)
A Dance at the Slaughterhouse (1991)
A Walk Among the Tombstones (1992)
The Devil Knows You're Dead (1993)
A Long Line of Dead Men (1994)
Even the Wicked (1997)
Everybody Dies (1998)
Hope to Die (2001)
All the Flowers Are Dying (2005)
A Drop of the Hard Stuff (2011)
The Night and the Music (2011) (short story anthology)
We are introduced to Matthew Scudder. He is not someone you’d look up to, maybe not even someone you’d like, but he lives within his own code of ethics which is something you can relate to. The fact that he is a broken shell of a man makes you appreciate that he is no longer a Detective… but to quote Liam Neeson (from Taken), he has “a certain set of skills” that are incredibly useful.
The novel starts with the vicious murder of a prostitute, but her killer has already been caught. He confessed and then he hung himself. So no mystery to solve, right? Except that Matthew Scudder has been requested to find out more about the murdered prostitute. What makes this prostitute different is that she comes from wealth and her step-father wants to know who she was as an individual, since the family had lost touch with their prodigal daughter. Seems simple enough, right? Except this is Matthew Scudder and he doesn’t do simple.
You see, you can’t hire him. You can give him a gift and he can do you a favor, but he cannot be paid or hired. Within the first few pages of the novel we see that Matthew Scudder is an unscrupulous man who doesn’t think twice about committing tax evasion or breaking any number of laws… and yet it was once his responsibility to uphold the law. He’s a little greasy. He is on the dark side of icky police politics, however Matthew Scudder uses his knowledge of circumventing the law for the side of what he believes is moral.
Since you can’t hire him, he isn’t working for you. He decides how much of a favor he actually owes you - which means that he doesn’t stop once he gets his questions answered. He stops when he’s ready, and he wasn’t ready in Sins of the Father until he had obtained his brand of justice (which is of course stands outside of the law).
I loved this novel. It was incredibly refreshing. Although it is almost forty years old, nothing in Mr. Block’s writing dates it (except for Matthew Scudder having to use a pay phone to contact someone, or everyone having land lines in their homes). I liked Matthew Scudder. He isn’t someone I’d like to meet, but if I ever needed the kind of help that local authorities wouldn’t be able to provide I’d ask for one of those favors.
Definitely, read this novel. You’ll see parts of this book briefly highlighted in the movie “A Walk Among The Tombstones” (which is book 10 of the Matthew Scudder series). It’s a shame that you have to read a book that is 40 years old to find something refreshing and feels new, but that’s what you’ll get with Sins of the Father. I got so drawn into Matthew Scudder’s world that all that mattered was the ride I was on. I didn’t care when it was written. All I cared about was revealing the mystery not just of the dead prostitute, but also of who Matthew Scudder is as a man.
My favorite quotes from Sins of the Father:
“Nowadays we speak of neuroses, of psychological complications, of compulsion. Previously we spoke of witchcraft, of demonic possession. I wonder sometimes if we’re as enlightened now as we prefer to think of, or if our enlightenment does us much good.”
“It is not necessary to know what a person is afraid of. It is enough to know the person is afraid.”
“Earlier you made her sound like a victim. Now she sounds like a villain.” “Everybody’s both.”