Matthew Scudder Crime Novel #12. "When Lawrence Block is in his Matthew Scudder mode, crime fiction can sidle up so close to literature that often there's no degree of difference" (The Philadelphia Inquirer).
An ancient brotherhood meets annually in the back room of a swank Manhattan restaurant -- a fraternity created in secret to celebrate life by celebrating its dead. But the past three decades have not been kind to the Club of 31. Matthew Scudder -- ex-cop, ex-boozer -- has known death in all its guises. Which is why he has been asked to investigate a baffling, thirty-year run of suicides and suspiciously random accidents that has thinned the ranks of this very select group of gentlemen. But Scudder has mortality problems of his own. For this is a city that feeds mercilessly on the unsuspecting - -and even the powerful and those who serve them are easy prey. There are too many secrets here -- and too many places for a maddeningly patient serial killer to hide ... and wait ... and strike.
About Scudder: Matt Scudder -- ex-cop, unlicensed private eye, sober alcoholic -- is an unusual hero. Consorting with cops and criminals alike, Scudder's a man who believes in justice, but who knows that no one is innocent. He is the complex and intriguing hero of a classic contemporary noir series by Grand Master of Mystery Lawrence Block.