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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best crime novel I have ever read
Every time I read this book, it gets better and better. Block's writing is masterful, moving effortlessly from real humour to horrific murder. As gruesome as some scenes in the book are, it is never gratuitous, and the worst details are always left to our imagination. The characters are rich and colourful, and the plot is skillfully drawn out. An absolutely wonderful book...
Published on 18 Dec 2000

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars very slow paced
was ok, but found the pace of the story was very slow. lots of scudder sitting about talking, or going to meetings which just got bored with by the middle of the book. but i suppose its a realistic view of what a private investigators life is like.
Published on 25 Mar 2009 by Lindymck


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best crime novel I have ever read, 18 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Every time I read this book, it gets better and better. Block's writing is masterful, moving effortlessly from real humour to horrific murder. As gruesome as some scenes in the book are, it is never gratuitous, and the worst details are always left to our imagination. The characters are rich and colourful, and the plot is skillfully drawn out. An absolutely wonderful book - everyone should read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic Scudder, 11 May 2011
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David Pillinger "tezzertog1962" (Stroud Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Why is Lawrence Block not rated as one of the greatest detective novellists ever? Scudder is a creation of geniuis. On the whole, not much of a man. A drunk, a former slightly bent copper, a lousy husband and father, a drop out, a killer when necessary and yet a man you can't help liking. An intelligent tenacious detective and a man you'd want to have on your side in a crisis. He has his own morality and i think what i like about him is that although not completely divorced from society he sort of rubs along in parrallel with it, doing what's necessary to get him through life a day at a time. As the Scudder series progresses he gets himself on a much more even keel and becomes fairly respectable but he never loses the edge and is never more than a step away from the underbelly of New York.
I have never been to New York so cannot judge, but i believe Blocks portrayal of the city may be very accurate. I am also not an alcoholic but i used to be a fairly regular drinker and have associated, from both sides of the bar, with people who were well on the way to alcoholism, so I believe very strongly that the portrayal of the transition from drunk to sober with the lapses in between is probably spot on. The Scudder stories are not comfortable, gentle country house murders with little old ladies or improbable belgian detectives with unlikely moustaches solving crimes committed by, on the whole, a rather refined class of villain, they are hard, gritty, sometimes vicious stories from a world that most of us can be thankful that we're no closer to that its periphery. The stories are all good, mostly very good, but it's really more the character study of the man that is so fascinating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very Murky kind of murder, 23 Oct 2013
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There is something very likeable about Matt Scudder, the recovering alcoholic private investigator with a call girl for a girlfriend. His humanity is genuine, his morals intact if a little freyed in some places. He narrates this tale with compassion and integrity, balancing the progress of a double investigation with the stalemate of his battle against his own demons.
There are some confronting verbal images in this book and they are not gratuitous or sensationalist-they are there to bring the reader some idea of the depths of horror and depravity that exists in the world, and the forces that drive some predators to ccarry out the awful things they do.
It is not all darkness and distress though; some of Scudder's associates bring colour and camaraderie, and the unusual relationship he is in is described in tender tones that provide a platform of almost normalcy for this character.
I found it a page turner, with me silently cheering him on in his delivery of justice
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars very slow paced, 25 Mar 2009
By 
Lindymck (Falkirk, Scotland) - See all my reviews
was ok, but found the pace of the story was very slow. lots of scudder sitting about talking, or going to meetings which just got bored with by the middle of the book. but i suppose its a realistic view of what a private investigators life is like.
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