cover image A Walk Among the Tombstones

A Walk Among the Tombstones

Lawrence Block, read by Mark Hammer. Recorded Books, , unabridged, 10 CDs, 12.5 hrs., $34.99 ISBN 978-1-4906-3532-3

Hammer proves a good choice as reader of this top-notch noir thriller, first published in 1992 and recently adapted into a major motion picture. When the wife of drug trafficker Kenan Khoury is kidnapped, held for ransom, and then brutally murdered, he asks Matt Scudder—the troubled ex-NYPD detective, recovering alcoholic, and unlicensed PI—to find out who did it. Scudder reluctantly takes on the case. With the help of his street-smart computer wiz protégé, T.J., some old NYPD contacts, and a lot of good old-fashioned gumshoeing, Scudder uncovers a slew of killings that may be connected to the murder of his client’s wife. The audio edition of Block’s hardboiled tale is plagued by poor editing with overly long pauses between paragraphs and dialogue. Still, if the listener is able to grow accustomed to the pacing, Hammer has a great feel for the material and takes full advantage of Block’s atmospheric prose to paint a rich portrait of early 1990s New York City. His gruff, gravelly voice fits perfectly with Scudder’s world-weary first-person narration, and he brings the book’s wide range of characters to life with distinctive, individual voices. A William Morrow paperback. (Sept.)