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When the Sacred Ginmill Closes: A Matt Scudder Mystery | [Lawrence Block]

When the Sacred Ginmill Closes: A Matt Scudder Mystery

When ex-cop Matt Scudder thought back on the summer of '75, two faces emerged from behind the smoky haze of a half dozen boozy saloons that made up his beat - Skip Devoe and Tommy Tillary - two bar flies he wouldn't have given a second thought to in the bright light of day. Yet they and their troubles were the reason that moved him a little farther out of the bleary-eyed mess that had become his life.
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Publisher's Summary

When ex-cop Matt Scudder thought back on the summer of '75, two faces emerged from behind the smoky haze of a half dozen boozy saloons that made up his beat: Skip Devoe and Tommy Tillary - two bar flies he wouldn't have given a second thought to in the bright light of day. Yet they and their troubles were the reason that moved him a little farther out of the bleary-eyed mess that had become his life.

More mayhem? Listen to another Matt Scudder mystery.

©1986 Lawrence Block; (P)1991 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

"Chilling." (Washington Post)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (89 )
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4.1 (38 )
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Story
4.0 (37 )
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Performance
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  •  
    mindusq san francisco 04-25-10
    mindusq san francisco 04-25-10 Member Since 2008

    Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    201
    ratings
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    386
    55
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    5
    Overall
    "Great narration, great prose"

    Block paints a detailed portrait of New York's boozy underbelly while weaving in mystery, dirty deeds and self-doubt. The characters ring true--hopeless men and women who frequent dive bars and attempt to make sense of their lives. The narration is akin to listening to poetry.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    IVAL FREEHOLD, NJ, United States 11-05-13
    IVAL FREEHOLD, NJ, United States 11-05-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
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    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great!!"

    Elegant writing. Masterful narration. The mood remains even after the book is over. And best of all, there are 17 more of them in my future!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 08-28-12
    Richard Delman San Francisco 08-28-12 Member Since 2006

    65 y/o father of two sons. Married 25 yrs. Audible member for 8 yrs. I can hardly read books with my eyes any more. I love reviewing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2061
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    450
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    2
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    Story
    "This book kinda grows on you."

    Lawrence Block has been a very prolific writer over a long career. Mark Hammer is an excellent narrator. The action of the book is set entirely in New York City. The action is also as booze-soaked as one can imagine, if one can imagine booze on every page. The book was written in 1975. The plot includes a stickup of an after-hours bar called Morrissey's, and also a murder in Brooklyn, as well as a theft of account books at another bar. At first the book seems caught in a time when people really did do that much drinking. Matt Scudder and his five or six friends are constantly hanging out in various bars, mainly drinking. However, the plot picks up speed as the crimes come close to solutions. As with many great whodunits, you will not be able to predict them. Mark Hammer's somewhat boozy voice works perfectly here. Aside from the alcoholism, the characters are believable denizens of NYC. Block has written at least one other book about Scudder, and a whole fleet of Bernie Rhodenbarr books. He has found an audience, and, you might be among them if you enjoy this. It isn't profound, but few mysteries are. It has action and good characters, and the view of NYC may be old, but it rings true. I have read some of Block's other books, and he can write. Enjoy.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toivo Fairbanks, AK, USA 06-08-10
    Toivo Fairbanks, AK, USA 06-08-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I bought this sort of at random"

    I have never read anything by this author before. The book and the reader were both superb. I mean really fantastic. I was blown away at how much I enjoyed this story.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Sippel San Jose, CA United States 02-10-11
    R. Sippel San Jose, CA United States 02-10-11 Member Since 2007

    Chef

    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
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    34
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    6
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    Overall
    "glad I stuck with it"

    I got kind of board with all of the bar talk and drinking. What kept me going was the narrator, Mark Hammer was perfect for the salty drinker bar voice.
    I did like ending and was glad I didn't stop listening.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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