Friday, May 12, 2017

5/12/2011 A Drop of the Hard Stuff is poured

May 12, 2011.  Lawrence Block wrote several novels about ex-cop Matt Scudder in which the guy sank deeper and deeper into alcohol.  The fifth book, Eight Million Ways to Die, and its sequel When the Sacred Ginmill Closes, see Scudder joining AA.  In my opinion they were the best two books of the series.

Block thought that was the end of Scudder, but then he found a way to write about the newly-sober private eye and kept doing so for another two decades.  But with his seventeenth Scudder book he goes back to the era of those two great books.  To be precise, A Drop of the Hard Stuff takes place around the first anniversary of Scudder's sobriety, a dangerous time for a recovering alcoholic.

And guess what?  It's just as good as Eight Million  and  Ginmill, which is very good indeed.  Block says he is too old to write novels anymore (although wonderful stories and novellas keep appearing), so this may be Scudder's last appearance.  Great way to go.

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