You would think that by the 14th novel in a series, an author might become a bit bored with his characters, a bit sloppy in his writing. Thankfully, Lawrence Block is no such writer. Matt Scudder, in his 14th appearance, is as sharp and entertaining as he is in such mysteries as Eight Million Ways to Die and A Dance at the Slaughterhouse. Scudder is one of the few dicks out there with a fully fleshed-out personality; he's not insensitive to the mayhem around him, and his fears are well founded and realistic. After all, as the title boldly states, we live in a world where everybody dies.
Settled into married life, sober, and finally a legit private eye (the state granted his license), Scudder is prepared to become a respectable high-priced detective working for New York City lawyers. But when his old buddy, Mick Ballou, comes to him because two of his runners end up murdered, Scudder finds himself sinking back into the muck of the underworld. While dodging thugs who are out to put a stop to his investigation, Scudder must figure out who has it in for Ballou.
The writing in this novel is elegant--equally supple in describing the gibbous moon as it is in sorting out Scudder's feelings on the murder of a close friend, or when recounting a rather gory eye plucking. The dialogue is snappy and true to life. Lawrence Block once again proves he's worthy of the title Grand Master of Mystery. So be sure to set aside a chunk of time before you sit down to read this novel, because you're not going to be able to tear yourself away. --Jenny Brown