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Out on the Cutting Edge Paperback – 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Phoenix; paperback / softback edition (2000)
  • ISBN-10: 1857970640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857970647
  • ASIN: B002HII7LW
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,862,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Although Lawrence Block may be a very prolific crime writer, when reading the books themselves they actually have a pretty slow pace. The Matt Scudder mysteries are particularly languid as Scudder is not a man who likes to be rushed. His crime solving techniques require as much shoe leather as they do little grey cells. ‘Out on the Cutting Edge’ is a case in point; the story surrounds a missing girl who came to New York looking for fame, but finding someone in a place as large as The Big Apple is never going to be easy.

As with all Scudder mysteries, ‘Cutting’ is as much about the nature of humans and New York as it is a crime thriller. Scudder uses dogged hard work to try and uncover clues and when he is not doing this he is partaking in AA meetings in an attempt to remain off the booze. To add a little more flavour to proceedings there is an additional side plot about an AA friend who needs help. As the book develops this smaller story grows and becomes a more interesting focus for the reader.

I am au fait with how the Scudder method of working, but even so, ‘Cutting’ is a slow burn. The fact that there was a twist as well did not improve matters as I felt I was wasting my time earlier. Block is as always a beautiful writer and just following Scudder around can be fun, but the coincidences and lack of movement in ‘Cutting’ made this a slightly weaker entry in the series. Still a decent enough read and fans of Block will like it; just don’t start off reading this as your first.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
Out On The Cutting Edge is another fantastic entry into the Matthew Scudder Novels and revolves around his search for a missing actress.
The plot is involving and interesting as it always is in a Lawrence Block novel and Scudder is on top form as usual. What is most impressive about this novel is the sheer quality of the writing.
Lawrence Block truely is the Master of Crime Writing.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lindymck on 26 April 2008
Format: Paperback
matt scudder has been hired to look into the disappearance of a young actress by her family and gets involved in the death of fellow aa member and strangely these two investigations become intertwined. found it fairly easy to read but just wasnt pacy enough, plodded along. didnt really hold my interest
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 48 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Another top-notch Scudder book. 5 May 2000
By Gary Jonas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Matt Scudder is dealing with the day-in, day-out struggle to stay sober in the Big Apple. He has a case he doesn't have much hope of solving and he's got an AA acquaintance who wants Matt to sponsor him. Eddie Dunphy is a small-time crook, sober for a little over half a year. He has something he really wants to tell Matt, but before he gets a chance, he's found dead in his apartment--an apparent suicide.
It's an open and shut case, but Matt is obsessed with finding out whether or not Eddie died sober. Dead is dead, but if he stayed sober he won the war. Of course, he finds out Eddie was murdered and he also gets a lead on his original case just when he was ready to give up on it.
This book introduces a recurring character in the series: Mickey Ballou, known as the Butcher Boy. Mickey has a reputation. Folks believe he killed a man and carried the guy's head around in a bowling bag for a week, showing it off so people would know not to cross him.
The characters all grow and change over the course of the book. This is a terrific novel and a nice addition to the Scudder series.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Scudder's first sober case 4 May 2001
By Brian D. Rubendall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Out on the Cutting Edge" follows the two best novels in the Matthew Scudder series, "8 Million Ways to Die" and "When the Sacred Ginmill Closes." It is also the first novel in which Scudder conducts a case (in this instance two cases) while not in an alcoholic stupor. We catch up with Scudder a few years after he joined AA. He has a sponser and has managed to recover control of his life. His day to day existence, meanwhile, hasn't changed much. He still lives in a residential hotel and still conducts cases off the books as "favors" for friends.
The two cases are interesting. One is for pay; a family wants to know the whereabouts of their missing daughter. One is personal; an AA companion apparently commits suicide just before he is ready to confess his sins to Scudder. Both take Scuder in some unlikely directions and the payoff is typically messy. Meanwhile, author Lawrence Block introduces one his most interesting side characters to the series, the Irish gangster Mickey Ballou. Overall, this is a solid Scudder novel that is not quite on par with the best of the series. But any Scudder novel makes for excellent reading.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
a sober Scudder can still win his cases 26 Jun. 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Interesting depiction of the alcoholic detective, Matt Scudder, trying to solve cases while keeping his sobriety intact through Alcoholics
Scudder is on a case involving a girl. a would-be
actress, missing in Manhattan for several months. The police can't help but Scudder has a way of spending time and foot leather that can come up with answers.
An AA friend suddenly dies and again Scudder
looks to see what the real situation is. On this
one he gets involved with a woman who tests
his sobriety.
Both cases fortuitously intertwine and Scudder has answers that he doesn't know what to do with.
The book shows a side of Manhattan seldom
mentioned in the papers, except when crime is
involved. It is a truthful and realistic telling
how people act basely
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Number seven in the series just as exciting as the others. 22 Dec. 1998
By Harold L. Laroff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Matthew Scudder is Lawrence Block's remarkable private investigator. He's a former NYPD detective who left the force after an accident left a child dead in a crossfire. But that was years and probably took place sometime in the past before the first Matt Scudder novel. "The Devil Knows You're Dead," is Block's 11th in the series. (As of this writing there are 13.) This is a fast paced story in which Scudder finds he is asked to solve the death of a Yuppie lawyer living in an area of Hell's Kitchen. Matt and his girlfriend Elaine spent an evening and Glenn Holtzmann, the lawyer, and his wife Lisa. From the beginning Matt doesn't like Glenn. Glenn is killed and a homeless vet is arrested and accused of the murdering Glenn. Scudder is asked to prove that the vet didn't do the crime by his brother. Of course one thing leads to another as the truth unfolds. The relationship between Elaine, Matt's girlfriend becomes more serious as they plan on buying an apartment together. TJ, the streetwise African-American teen is back assisting Scudder. As I have said in other reviews of Matt Scudder novels. They are like potato chips. You can't quit after one.
Matthew Scudder is Lawrence Block's remarkable private investigator. He's a former NYPD detective who left the force after an accident left a child dead in a crossfire. Because he is unlicensed you can't "hire" him. Instead he does you a favor by taking your case and solving the crime. In exchange for the favor the client returns the favor by giving him some cash. Scudder is recovering alcoholic. Scudder is hired to find a missing girl, a would be actress, who came to the Big Apple from the mid-west. When her parents fail at contacting her they find that Scudder may be the one to help. He comes highly recommended by a NYPD police officer that has known Scudder for years. This Block/Scudder adventure takes us to the dark side of Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen. All this makes for excellent reading. I thoroughly enjoyed "On the Cutting Edge," and I am anxious to read the next Matt Scudder novel sitting by my easy chair.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
One of Scudder's most depressing pair of cases 11 Mar. 2012
By Michael K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Matt Scudder, ex-cop, ex-husband and father, unofficial private detective, and now a recovering alcoholic for several years (you're never "ex-"), takes on a commission for an Indiana auto dealer trying to discover what's become of his daughter. She came to New York to break into the acting world, and then disappeared. Shortly after starting his investigation -- which doesn't really go much of anywhere for some time, even though he's putting in the hours -- Scudder is approached by a guy from one of his many AA meetings who wants Scudder to help with the 5th Step: Confessing your sins. Matt agrees; it's what recovering drinkers do for each other, when they can. (Alcoholism and its effects is almost a character in this book in itself.) But then the guy turns up dead in his apartment, apparently of autoerotic asphyxiation. Matt, for whatever reason, doesn't like the look of this, and begins poking around. And then he becomes physically involved with the woman who manages the building where the man died, which is not going to take him where he hopes it will. Scudder lives in a rather gray world and that's certainly evident here. It's not a depressing story, exactly, but it's not what you could call an exciting read, however engrossing it may be. And the resolution of the first case definitely will give you the willies. This is also the book in which Scudder first makes the acquaintance of Mickey Ballou, the "Butcher Boy," a literally bloody-handed member of the underworld, with whom he bonds in an unlikely (but generally convincing) fashion. Not the best of the series but far from being the worst.
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