Probably the best novel in the series by Lawrence Block starring the ex-alcoholic, free- lance detective, Matt Scudder. Scudder is asked to help solve the mystery of the death of a prosperous lawyer on on of Manhattan's toughest streets. The real killer is caught, or is he? The lawyer is an outstanding citizen, or is he? There is a sub-plot involving Jan, Scudder ex-girl friend and her death from cancer. As usual the author shows how AA helps Scudder face his problems without drinking. There is more plotting than usual in the series, with the story unfolding in strange ways. Scudder's stick-to-the-pavements brand of detecting turns up some answers. But as in real life, not everything is solved.
It is hard to believe that Block after ten previous novels with the same detective and other characters can come up with such a great novel, but he has.