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A Ticket To The Boneyard (2000)

A Ticket to the Boneyard (2000)

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4.12 of 5 Votes: 5
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0752837478 (ISBN13: 9780752837475)

About book A Ticket To The Boneyard (2000)

Lawrence Block knows what he's doing and he does it well. This is a worthy addition to the Matthew Scudder series. Scudder is a recovering alcoholic, ex-cop who lives in a low-rent residential hotel and earns his living as an unlicensed private investigator. A Ticket to the Boneyard is the 8th Lawrence Block novel to feature Matthew Scudder. This book finds Matthew Scudder doing well with his sobriety. He's got a semi-regular gig working as an operative for a large detective agency and while life isn't perfect it isn't all that bad either. Then he gets a call from someone he hasn't heard from in years... someone with whom he has a history... part of that history includes framing a psycho and sending him to prison... now the psycho has been released from prison and he wants revenge in the worst way. The story moves at its own leisurely pace. Scudder is doing what he does -- detecting, investigating -- while also maintaining who he is -- a recovering alcoholic. Along the way he runs into a few of his known associates like Butcher Boy Mick Ballou, Danny Boy Bell, and cop Joe Durkin. The case heats up and the story moves with it, the case stalls and the story coasts along on its own momentum. It never stops but it doesn't go, go, go in an adrenaline fueled race to the finish. I've read this particular novel at least twice before so obviously I like it. I think one of the reasons I am so drawn to the character of Matt Scudder is that he is retrospective, he's always thinking about the various mysterious, peculiarities and inconsistencies of life. Not in a melancholy or self pitying way, more in the sense of someone who is and always will be a student of life and the way of people. I recognize that this same aspect could also be a very big turn off for a lot of crime/mystery fans. If you like nonstop action from start to finish then you may want to take a pass on this one. Ideally, of course, the best way to read any book series is in order but failing that I would recommend starting with any of the first five novels -- The Sins of the Fathers, In the Midst of Death, Time to Murder and Create, A Stab in the Dark or Eight Million Ways to Die.If you're unfamiliar with Lawrence Block or new to the Matthew Scudder series then I wouldn't recommend that you start with this novel. It's a good one, it stands alone (as they all do), but it features a Scudder who is familiar and has become something of an acquired taste. If you don't know him you can still absolutely enjoy the story but if you do know him, if you're familiar with where he's been and who he is then it's just ever so much sweeter.

Scudder vs the psychotic serial killer AKA Ticket to the Boneyard is Lawrence Block's take on the highly popular James Patterson-esque cat and mouse sub-genre of crime fiction. Because it's Block you know straight off that it's not going to be the same simple structure and the same definitions of good and evil will not apply for his characters, especially Matt Scudder, former cop turned unofficial private eye.JL Motley is a son of a bitch of the highest order, misogynist in the extreme and incredibly violent to boot and as he gets out of prison after 12 years his sole aim is to wreak vengeance upon Matthew Scudder "and all his women." I don't get off on this sub-genre, detailed descriptions of the violence done to innocents are not for me, blow by blow accounts of their stalking and plotting bore me, and no amount of holy shit did that just happen endings can make up for it.The usual Scudder soul searching, his interactions with people, his internal struggles are all there in spades and they make for an entertaining and quick read that helped me plough through the bad times featuring the nut job and boy that denouement is gonna mess with his head in future episodes. It's something that only Lawrence Block could write and something only a character like Matt Scudder could do and have you believe it as an organic plot development, not some meaningless shock tactic by an author desperate for attention. It's moments like that that make you come back to the series time and time again, assured that you're in the hands of a master.

Do You like book A Ticket To The Boneyard (2000)?

I was introduced to the Matthew Scudder series a bit less than 2 years ago and this is the 8th book of his I've read. I keep coming back to this series because the writing is crisp and the characters really leap off the page. This book is no different. Scudder and the various denizens of New York City ring true in a way that few writers can achieve. Scudder is still fighting his own demons, a war he's taking one day at a time. In between AA meetings, Scudder's past comes back to haunt him in the form of James Leo Motley, a man that he sent to prison 12 years ago and has returned to make good on threats he made after his conviction. Motley is going to make Scudder pay, Scudder and all his women. This is one of my favorite books in the series so far, Scudder facing off against a powerful psychopath bent on not just killing, but on causing as much pain as he can at the same time. A great tale full of questionable ethics and a battle of good versus evil. This series gets better with each book, so I'm already looking forward to the next one.
—Ty Wilson

Well, Block hits the nail on the head again. Scudder is in deep in this installment. He has done some shady things and is paying the price. The thing I really liked about this book was the characters. You don't want anything bad to happen to any one, but you're not blind to the fact that you're reading a mystery novel and you know that something will happen to someone, so you roll with it. Luckily, the characters that I really enjoy made it through. Maybe not completely intact, but they made it. Overall, I great job here. I was going to take a Scudder break, but I want back in. It's so hard to choose with books to go forth with when you have a stack. I'm back in though... You just wait and see.

Like the previous seven novels in this series, A Ticket to the Boneyard is a great read. Unlike its predecessors, though, this one is more of a thriller than a mystery novel. And unlike the others, in this case Matthew Scudder is effectively his own client.Twelve years earlier, while Scudder was still a detective in the NYPD, a psycho named James Leo Motley assaulted an escort named Elaine Mardell and insisted that she now belonged to him. Elaine was a friend of Scudder's; the two had been intimate, and Elaine turned to Matt for help. Motley then broke into Elaine's apartment while Scudder was there and threatened both of them while holding Elaine hostage.Matt realized that Motley was one sick S.O.B. and that arresting him for a simple assault wouldn't put him away for nearly long enough. So Matt planted a gun on Motley and framed him for assaulting a police officer. Motley then went to the Big House, threatening along the way to kill Scudder and "all his women" once he got out.Twelve years down the road, Elaine calls Matt. They haven't seen each other in years, but Elaine has just hear from Motley who intends to make good on his threat and has already killed a woman once associated with Scudder and Elaine.From that point on, Scudder and Motley play a hair-raising game of cat and mouse. Motley has vowed to kill Scudder last and as the death toll rises, the cops seem unable to do anything about it. The only man with a chance to get Motley would seem to be someone willing to work outside of the law. Is Scudder willing to go that far? And how many innocent people might have to die in the meantime?This is another great novel from Lawrence Block that will keep any reader up well into the night. And when it's finally time to go to sleep, you're really not going to want to turn off the light...
—James Thane

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