Manual Sins Of The Fathers

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Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published by Orion first published More Details Original Title. Matthew Scudder 1.


Matthew Scudder. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Sins of the Fathers , please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Sins of the Fathers. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. They tell me the Matt Scudder series starts slow, that it hits its stride with his fifth adventure, Eight Million Ways to Die. I don't know about that—at least not yet—but one thing I can say for sure: The Sins of the Fathers is plenty good enough.

Scudder was once a cop. But then a seven year old girl is killed by a ricochet he fired in pursuit of a robber, and, even though he is exonerated—hell, they even give him a commendation—he finds he just doesn't have the heart to be a cop anymore. Now he drinks too much and can't shake the guilt, but he still uses his cop skills to make ends meet. A pretty little hooker living in a nice Greenwich Village apartment has been stabbed to death, and the only suspect—her male roommate—admits his guilt and then hangs himself in the city jail.

So the case is closed, and Scudder's client—the dead girl's father—doesn't wanted it reoopened: he just wants to find out what his daughter's life was like. He thought he knew who she was, yet discovers after her death that she had hid her life from him. Now he needs Scudder to uncover a few facts and details so that he may reconstruct a more realistic memory. The book consists of three parts: 1 an investigation into the life of the dead girl, which leads to 2 the discovery of the motive for the crime, and 3 an account of Scudders plan to bring a rough kind of justice to this "open-and-shut" case.

View all 9 comments. I'm updating this review in March, , principally to change the edition. As I suggested in my original review, this is the first book in my favorite of all crime fiction series. My original copy is a reprint from , which is when I first discovered the series. At the Left Coast Crime convention this week, I was browsing in the book room and discovered that one of the rare book dealers there had an excellent copy of the first edition from It's the one pictured here, and I was thrilled I'm updating this review in March, , principally to change the edition.

It's the one pictured here, and I was thrilled to find it. The cover blurb from James M. Cain, no less, pronounces the book as "Very Superior! The Sins of the Fathers would be a solid four stars from me on any day. I'm giving it five because it's the first book in what I've always believed to be the best P. The Matthew Scudder saga now runs to seventeen books and a large number of short stories, and it's hard to think of any other writer who has done a series consisting of this many books over this many years while maintaining this standard of excellence.

And for as many times as I've read this book by now, and for as well as I know the story, it's always a treat to pick it up and read it all over again. In particular, the first chapter is excellent. In a lean, crisp thirteen pages, Block not only sets up the mystery to be resolved but provides a brilliant introduction to the character of Matthew Scudder. Although the character will continue to grow and develop over the course of the series, the first chapter essentially tells you everything you would ever need to know about the man.

Scudder is an ex-cop who left the force for very personal reasons. He now works as an unlicensed P. Clients don't hire him in any traditional sense, but occasionally he does a favor for someone and they show their appreciation by giving him monetary gifts. In this case, the someone is a businessman from upstate New York named Cale Hanniford.

A few days earlier, Hanniford's daughter, Wendy, had been savagely murdered in the apartment she shared with a young man named Richard Vanderpoel. Minutes after the killing, Vanderpoel was found covered in the victim's blood, exposing himself and shouting obscenities in the street in front of the apartment.

The police arrested him and less than forty-eight hours later, the young man hanged himself in his cell. The police have closed the case and Hanniford accepts their obvious conclusion that Vanderpoel killed his daughter. But he wants to know why.

Alcoholism and genetics. The sins of the fathers.

Hanniford and Wendy had been estranged for several years and he knows nothing of her life during that period. He now knows that she was living in an expensive apartment with no visible means of support, which suggests the obvious to everyone involved. Still, no matter how sordid the details, Hanniford wants Matt to dig into Wendy's life so that he will know how she came to such a tragic end.

Scudder accepts the job and begins investigating in his usual methodical way, turning up one thing after another, asking one question after another, and in the process learning things about both Wendy and Vanderpoel that no parent might ever want to know. The story is spare and lean--there's not a wasted word, and it draws you inexorably into the lives of all the characters, but especially into that of Matthew Scudder.

Do the sons bear the sins of the fathers or not? |

It's a haunting and intoxicating introduction that sets the stage for all of the great books and stories to follow. View all 28 comments. Feb 18, Stephen rated it really liked it Shelves: mystery , hardboiled-and-noir , signed-first-or-limited-edition , , ebooks , crime. Well appearances deceive and depth takes time to appreciate. This guy is an original. So who IS Matt Scudder? Hold that thought while I fill in a little of his personal history, beginning with who he was.

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Scudder was a police detective and a competent one. True, he was not above a little bribe-taking to help support his family and he had no qualms about framing a suspect he knew to be guilty. However, he tried to make a positive difference and serve his community by taking out the bad guys. Scudder left the force after accidentally shooting a seven year old girl while breaking up an armed robbery.

Adding new sins to the pile

Now, Scudder works as an unlicensed private investigator, continues to drink his corn-mash and coffee combo and his only real friends are the police captain who sends him referrals for a fee and the hooker he spends time with occasionally. Granted, his colorful history would suggest that Matt has a ding or two on his armor and some warts on his soul. Ah, but remember Matt is someone who cares, truly and deeply, about right and wrong.

He spends more time than most contemplating the nature of good and evil and trying his best to fit into the former while minimizing his contributions to the latter. A few additional facts about Matt might hint at why I feel this way. His relationship with his ex wife is respectful and caring a minor miracle in itself and he loves his two boys and they seem to think dad walks on water. Oh, and the hooker he spends time with So again, I think Matt is one of the good guys who is struggling with his own weaknesses and how to make his vision of good fit with the world he sees around him.

He is contemplative and caring and flawed and lost and a whole bag full of other. He is most defintely engaging. Lawrence Block has created one of the most unique characters I have come across in the Mystery genre and ranks up there with Hap and Leonard by Joe Lansdale among my favorites. I know, I know I tend to do that with the first book in a long series because I feel like the character is the real reason why you should check this out. But here you go. Her male roommate is found at the scene and arrested. The suspect then hangs himself in his jail cell making further investigation unnecessary and closing the case as far as the police are concerned.

She had mysteriously dropped out of college and the newspapers were had running stories that she was a prostitute. The step-father wants Matt to investigate to find out the truth about her. Anyway, this was a terrifically written mystery with an amazing lead character. The fact that this is only book 1 of a 17 so far book series has me so swollen with happy juice that my eye-balls are floating as I write this.

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View all 15 comments. As my first bit of book reviewing for the new year being started seven minutes into the new year, yep another exciting new year's eve with me reporting on books here on goodreads , I'll admit that I was wrong in my opinion of Lawrence Block. For years I thought nothing of him, I thought he was another of those male macho writers, sort of a mystery version of say a Vince Flynn, or a Brad Thor, or some other preposterously monikered hack.

Or I thought he was the type of writers old men read, like As my first bit of book reviewing for the new year being started seven minutes into the new year, yep another exciting new year's eve with me reporting on books here on goodreads , I'll admit that I was wrong in my opinion of Lawrence Block.