When the Sacred Ginmill Closes : Matt Scudder

  • by Lawrence Block
  • Narrated by Mark Hammer
  • Series: Matt Scudder
  • 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


What the Critics Say

"Chilling." (Washington Post)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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

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.
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- Richard Delman "I am a 67 year old psychologist. I have been married for 28 years, with two sons who are 27 and 24. I love listening to the books."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-04-2008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books