Award-winning mystery writer Block is one prolific sumbitch (he's got more than four dozen books to his credit). But even if he bangs out series thrillers almost faster than you can read them, no one would dream of calling him a hack his stuff is just too damn readable, not to mention addictive. Arguably his best books follow Matthew Scudder, a now semi-retired private detective who these days mostly hangs out in AA meetings and tries to enjoy his golden years with his jewel of a wife, Elaine, a former hooker. In Flowers, a particularly strong effort, Scudder matches wits with a serial killer who makes Hannibal Lecter look like a lightweight. One caveat: Some of the torture scenes are brutal, so don't read this on a full stomach.