Morrow, Nov 2001, 25.00, 320 pp.
In Manhattan someone brutally kills Byrne and Susan Hollander in their home with their daughter Kristin finding the bodies. A few days later the Brooklyn police investigate a bad odor emanating from an apartment only to find two male Caucasian corpses and the Hollander loot. To NYPD both cases close as the apparent Brooklyn suicide-murder event resolves the Manhattan crime.
Though he knew the Hollanders and actually attended the same dinner concert as the victims did on that fatal night, Matthew Scudder has no reason to discount the police conclusion. However, his assistant TJ introduces him to the niece of the Hollanders, Columbia student and wannabe writer Lia Parkman. She believes her cousin arranged the murders of her own parents to inherit a fortune. Unable to resist, Matt begins to investigate, and quickly concludes Kristin is innocent, but someone else arranged the homicides and is not finished with the killings.
The mystery of HOPE TO DIE is as strong as any urban detective story is even though Scudder has lost some of his street edge and is showing his age as a member of the geriatric set. Still that fails to impede him from touring the town looking for clues or interfere with his ability to interpret the evidence. References to past novels add a nostalgic feeling to those long time fans of Scudder. Though the ending leaves an obvious sequel, Lawrence Block furnishes readers with a strong edition of his hard-boiled detective.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner