Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Walk Among the Tombstones by Lawrence Block

(hb; 1992: tenth book in the Matthew Scudder series)

From the inside flap:

" 'One million dollars cash, or we kill your wife.' High-volume dope dealers make an easy mark for kidnappers. After all, what are they going to do, call the cops? But Kenan Khoury, heroin wholesaler to the five boroughs, haggled over the price, and his wife came back in pieces. The only person he can trust to avenge her is Matt Scudder, ex-cop, sober alcoholic, who wields his own brand of personal justice.

"Scudder enlists call-girl girlfriend Elaine [Mardell], a streetwise punk from Times Square [TJ], and two phone-phreak computer geniuses to track the killers through the backstreets of Brooklyn. But the killers' depravity is matched only by their cleverness, and their next target is a little girl. . ."


Walk is a compelling, suspenseful and hard-to-set-down read with a cast of believable and often-likeable characters. I appreciated Block's use of moral gray areas, where most of its characters -- aside from the main villains -- had grime, depth and wear in their personal histories. Entertaining book, this: worth owning.

Followed by A Long Line of Dead Men.


The resulting film was released stateside on September 19, 2014. Scott Frank scripted and directed the film.

Liam Neeson played Matthew Scudder. Maurice Compte played Danny Ortiz. Astro, billed as Brian 'Astro' Bradley, played TJ.
David Harbour played Ray. Adam David Thompsons played Albert. Laura Birn played Leila Alvarez. Sebastian Roché played Yuri Landau. Liana de Laurent played "Yuri's Wife". Daniel Rose Russell played Lucia Landau.

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