A Long Line of Dead Men (A Matthew Scudder Mystery) by Lawrence Block

By Lawrence Block

An old brotherhood meets each year within the again room of a swank ny restuarant, a fraternity created in mystery to have a good time lifestyles by way of celebrating its lifeless. however the previous 3 many years haven't been type to the membership of 31. Matthew Scudder -- ex-cop, ex-boozer -- has identified demise in all its guises, that's why he as been requested to enquire a baffling, thirty-year run of suicides and suspiciously random injuries that has thinned the ranks of this very choose team of gents. yet Scudder has mortality difficulties of his personal, for his is a urban that feeds mercilessly at the unsuspecting -- or even the strong and those that serve them are effortless prey. There are too many secrets and techniques right here, and too many areas for a maddeningly sufferer serial killer to hide...and wait...and strike.

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At Keens Chophouse on West Thirty-sixth Street. That’s where we’ve been holding our dinners ever since Cunningham’s closed in the early seventies. They give us the same room every year. It’s on the second floor, and it looks like a private library. The walls are lined with bookshelves and portraits of somebody’s ancestors. There’s a fireplace, and they lay a fire for us, not that that’s what you necessarily want in May. It’s nice for atmosphere, though. ‘‘We’ve been going there for twenty years.

Close to twenty years. One of our early deaths. More recently, there were a couple of heart attacks. I mentioned Frank DiGiulio, and then two years ago Victor Falch dropped dead on the golf course. ’’ ‘‘On the other hand, several of our members have been murdered, and there have been other deaths that could conceivably have been murder, although the authorities didn’t classify them as such. ’’ 26 Lawrence Block ‘‘And the fellow in Chelsea who was killed by a sexual partner,’’ I said, and scanned my memory for the name.

Stuff ’em in a bin at the Salvation Army at ten bucks apiece and they’re thrift-shop art that nobody looks at twice. Treat them with respect and price them at three to five hundred and they’re folk art, and people think they’re a steal. I had a woman in just before closing who fell in love with the desert sunset. ‘But this looks like paint-by-number,’ she said. ‘That’s just what it is,’ I told her. ‘It was the artist’s favorite medium. ’’ It was getting on for midnight when we left Paris Green and walked home on Ninth Avenue.

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