Share for friends:

Time To Murder And Create (1999)

Time to Murder and Create (1999)

Book Info

3.86 of 5 Votes: 5
Your rating
0752827499 (ISBN13: 9780752827490)

About book Time To Murder And Create (1999)

Matthew Scudder, assisted by larger and larger doses of bourbon & coffee, investigates the brutal murder of a blackmailer known as the Spinner. The prime suspects are the Spinner’s three cash cows, including: 1. A former hooker/porn star turned high society wife; 2. A wealthy father of a reckless driving, man-slaughtering ex-drug addict; and 3. A buggery loving, pederast politician running for Governor of New York. As Scudder begins to look into his dead friend’s operation, he finds himself the target of the same killer that sent the Spinner swimming in the East River with the back of his head caved in. Written in Block’s crisp, condensed prose, this is a fast paced, wonderfully gritty story that you can breeze through in a couple hours. In sum….a terrific experience. All of the things that made The Sins of the Fathers such a memorable read are even better in this second installment of Block’s excellent noir, mystery series. The plot is more complicated, the bad guys are well drawn and far more dangerous and Matt’s dysfunctional life and growing alcoholism becomes increasingly more apparent. When I reviewed The Sins of the Fathers, I asked the question, ‘Who is Matthew Scudder?’ After finishing the second book, I am pleased to report that I know more about him...and even MORE pleased to report that I still don’t have a good answer to the question. Yep, this man is a complicated riddle wrapped in a booze-soaked enigma. I can say this, he has become a favorite literary character and is one of the most compelling figures I’ve come across in my crime/noir reading.Here’s what I have been able to ascertain about the man to date: Matt’s a basically decent man (not snow white, but decent) whose life as a New York detective was derailed when he accidentally shot an 8 year old girl while taking down a pair of armed robbers. Since that fateful event, Matt left the force, walked away from his wife and two sons and crawled into a bottle. Now he comes out of his daily alcohol fog to “do favors for friends” as an off-the-books, unlicensed investigator. The world Matt navigates is a smoky, charcoal gray of ethical rationalizations and moral ambiguity. Despite that, Matt generally has his compass pointed towards what he believes is “just” and is unquestionably one of the “good guys.” He just doesn’t look (or always act) the part.Did I mention that he drinks...a lot?One of the really interesting things about this series is that when we first meet Matt in The Sins of the Fathers, his downward spiral hadn’t hit bottom. Thus, we get to watch his self-destructive pattern of behavior continue to accelerate. These stories are as much about what Scudder does away from the “case” as his investigations and that makes this something fairly unique. As I reader, I find myself coming back to the series as much to catch up on how Matt’s doing (hoping he’s doing better, but knowing he probably isn’t) as to see what kind of horrible crime he’s investigating. Block has a real winner of a series here and there are more layers to these stories than you find in your typical noir mystery. This is good, good stuff. Lawrence Block’s writing is clean, understated and subtly powerful. Plus, the best part is that the GR friends that turned me on to this series all say that the stories only get…..BETTER. I can’t wait. 4.5 stars. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

Second edition of Matthew Scudder's saga, and I'm looking forward to the next.(Oh, who am I kidding? I've already started the next one, but had to stop and do the review for this so I can give it the thought it deserves).Scudder's daily meandering between bourbon and coffee is interrupted when Spinner, one of his ex-stoolies, comes to him with a request. Hold on to an envelope; if Spinner dies, open it and take whatever action Scudder thinks is right. Nothing happens to Spinner, don't eyeball the contents. Needless to say, something happens, the envelope is opened and Scudder finds himself contacting the unsavory victims of Spinner's blackmail in an effort to solve his murder.Characterization continues to shine. Scudder's actions, while somewhat thought out, have unintended and unfortunate consequences, much like his shooting the bystander in the robbery. Good intentions, half-baked implementation and disastrous consequences. I liked that Block was willing to throw his lead into such difficult situations, but equally unwilling to let him wallow there. Even as he flirts with an alcoholic haze, he finds himself unable to abandon responsibility. I can see why this would be an Edgar nominee; the level of moral ambiguity and compassion for the characters is impressive. Trina is fast becoming one of my favorite guest characters, with her sympathetic ear and her sassy humor. Here she checks out a visitor for Scudder and her description makes a strange kind of sense: "You know who he looks like? The Marlboro man." "From the commercials? Didn't they use more than one guy?""Sure. He looks like all of them. You know, high rawhide boots and a wide-brimmed hat and smelling of horseshit, and the tattoo on his hand. He's not wearing boots or a hat, and he doesn't have the tattoo, but it's the same image. Don't ask me if he smells of horseshit. I didn't get close enough to tell."Block's writing so clearly captures an image that there are spots that I find myself re-reading for sheer pleasure. He had the best description of a cigarette after a long hiatus that almost lured me into picking one up:"I brought a pack of cigarettes out of the machine and smoke three of them with my coffee. They were the first I'd had in almost two months, and I couldn't have gotten a better hit if I'd punched them right into a vein. They made me dizzy but in a nice way."That's right, kids--cigarettes used to be sold in vending machine. But don't worry; there was a sign on them that said it was illegal to sell or buy them if you were under 18, so it was perfectly safe).For me, the one downside was the mystery itself. Scudder thinks he's fingered the killer, and it is such an illogical assumption that one can almost see the flick of a red tail in the pages. Still, the twists and big reveal are satisfactory, if no other reason than Scudder's unique resolution skills.Three and a half stars, rounding up because Trina made me laugh and Block made me remember a cigarette from ten years ago.

Do You like book Time To Murder And Create (1999)?

Hummm. Matthew Scudder is a fellow who does 'favors' for friends for 'gifts' such as money. Not really a P. I. although all indications lead the reader to believe that's what he is, a P.I. That an ex-cop who resigned after 15 years on the force due to an accidential shooting by him of an innocent little girl. That would make anyone re-examine thier lot in life. Scudder knows he drinks far to much. He can be forgiven though since he donates regularly to the money box in churchs. One religion, no, the closest church will do and usually it's a Catholic church since they've got an open door most hours than most. The regular tidy amount of 10%, thank you very much. Ok, Scudder, all's forgiven now, your sins. But all in all, a great read but Lawrence Block is such a top-notch writer with the creation of a number of characters who are flawed; seriously flawed, some of them. Block was nominated or won the Shamus, Edgar and Anthony awards and was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1994. Also, in 2005 he received the Gumshoe Lifetime Achievement Award. Reading the Scudder series in order; just one on my list of 10 series. Oh, such a hardship. NOT!
—Cathy DuPont

I guess I should state that this is the second Matthew Scudder novel. Sometime while reading the second half of this book today it dawned on me that Scudder is quite a bit like another character I came across recently. At first I couldn't remember which one, but I knew it was from one of the Hard Case novels I've devoured in the past three months. I thought maybe it was from an earlier Lawrence Block novel, but then it hit me, Scudder is a lot like Matt Cordell (I had to look this up just now, I have no memory of character names for the most part) from Ed McBain's 1958 novel The Gutter and the Grave. Now I'm looking at the names and I see two Matts, and I see two surnames with two syllables each and d sound at the end of the first syllable. I don't know if I'm on to anything, or if I'm just noticing something that maybe Block was upfront about, or if I'm just an idiot and really there are only so many ways to create an ex-New York's Finest who reluctantly solves crimes (but Cordell wasn't a cop he was a PI, actually the more I think about it there are quite a few differences, but there are quite a few similarities, too). I didn't love this one as much as Sins of the Father, the first book in the series. Actually, I'm sort of lying. I liked it about as much, but what made me love the first book was the weird surprise revelation of Scudder's character towards the end of the novel, and well, I now know that part of his character and when something similar to the ending of the first novel happens in this one there wasn't really the awe inspiringness going on. It's sort of like when you first read someone's witty review, that is say written in the style of the book they just read or uses a particularly funny style of pictures and you think it's good and you vote on it, and then you see that the same thing is done again for the next book, and the one after that and the one after that and so on and so on, and you stop liking it and you realize that it's actually sort of annoying. This is kind of like that, but since it's only the second novel and there were lots of other things to enjoy about the novel it didn't bother me (this thing I'm talking about but not actually saying what it is), and I can imagine Block continuing to use this device or aspect of Scudder's character and still keeping his books fresh and enjoyable, unlike say a James Bond movie which is a whole franchise that I find unbearably tedious in it's cookie cutter plot. I really dislike those movies.I'm not complaining though, I'm just trying to obtusely point out why I only gave this book four stars. On to book three now.

Before Spinner Jablon was pulled out of the East River with his head bashed in, he commissioned unlicensed PI Matthew Scudder to find his killer. With this pretense, Time to Murder and Create kicks off into a tightly-plotted little whodunit. Scudder has three suspects: the father of a reformed man-slaughterer, a former hooker turned high-society type, and a wealthy pedophile with political aspirations. Nobody in this novel is especially noble, but Scudder and Jablon at least share a similar ethical code in this world of attenuated morality – Murder is not cool.After reading Sins of the Fathers, I couldn’t wait to dive into this one. The mysteries themselves aren’t especially tortuous, but Scudder is a really fantastic character. Sure, we’ve seen others like him. He possesses a certain ennui that comes with 15 years of police work. He’s divorced. He drinks a little too much. He has demons. But Lawrence Block really allows Scudder’s voice to shine in these novels, which elevates the material tremendously.I’ve been searching for a series like this for a while. I look forward to continuing it as I understand it gets even better in the next few books.

download or read online

Read Online

Write Review

(Review will shown on site after approval)

Other books by author Lawrence Block

Other books in series Matthew Scudder

Other books in category Fiction