All The Flowers Are Dying

All The Flowers Are Dying by Lawrence Block

All The Flowers Are Dying by Lawrence Block

The day I started my journey through the Scudder series in 2011, I’ve been dreading this moment.  I somehow managed to stretch the sixteen novels over the past four years in an attempt to get maximum enjoyment out of the series.  It was a great choice, if I don’t say so myself.  While there are still two books to follow (A Drop of The Hard Stuff / The Night & The Music), this is the final novel in the Scudder chronology.

Luckily, Block chose to go out on a high note.  In All The Flowers Are Dying, Matt is hired to do some digging on a man who may not be exactly who he says he is (side note: aren’t we all?).  At the same time, a man in Virginia is awaiting execution after being given the death penalty for the gruesome murder of several young boys.  While killing time in the clink, the prisoner is interviewed by a psychologist who may not have the best of intentions.

The narrative is broken up between Scudder and this shadowy psychologist for the length of the novel.  Eventually, the two alternating stories merge putting both men on a collision course.  Many of Scudder’s associates make appearances with Elaine, TJ, Danny Boy Bell and others lingering about alongside the grizzled gumshoe.  As always, I find myself craving more Mick Ballou and fans of the Irish mobster will find his contributions to the book lacking.

I’m sad to see Scudder go but Block gives us a fitting ending to the series.  I had asked Block in an interview last year if he had truly put the final nail in the Scudder saga and while he noted he had no immediate plans for future books, he has thought he was finished a few times in the past before ultimately returning to tell more stories.  Here’s hoping he may have another prequel in the tank.

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