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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well written, entertaining, private eye novel
I have to admit that I came to this novel as a real fan of crime fiction, though I had never read any of Lawrence Block's books before. Having read this, one of a long series of novels featuring the unofficial private detective and ex-cop, Matt Scudder, I can say that it certainly won't be my last.
Matt Scudder himself is an excellent character, worthy of appearing...
Published on 12 Mar 2001

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars confusing
essentially overall it was a good book but i found it very hard to keeo everybody straight and who was involved with who. and i never really followed the investigation very well so when the guilty guy was revealed i had no idea where that had come from.

so unfortunately this is why i found this book average
Published on 8 Aug 2007 by Lindymck


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well written, entertaining, private eye novel, 12 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: A Stab in The Dark (Matt Scudder Mystery) (Paperback)
I have to admit that I came to this novel as a real fan of crime fiction, though I had never read any of Lawrence Block's books before. Having read this, one of a long series of novels featuring the unofficial private detective and ex-cop, Matt Scudder, I can say that it certainly won't be my last.
Matt Scudder himself is an excellent character, worthy of appearing in a series of novels. An ex-cop who left the force for personal reasons and now battles as much against the bourbon bottle as he does against criminals on the mean streets of New York City. This is just the kind of intelligent, well-written, dark crime writing that raises the genre up toward the status of genuine contemporary literature.
The plot in this novel is very interesting as Scudder re-opens an old case which involved a serial killer murdering young women with an ice pick. One of the victim's parents hires Scudder because he thinks maybe his daughter was killed by a copycat instead of the man convicted.
One other enjoyable aspect of the book is the portrait of the Big Apple it gives us. As you travel the city with Scudder you really have the feeling of being there.
Other novels in the series await my investigation, and hopefully yours too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars confusing, 8 Aug 2007
By 
Lindymck (Falkirk, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Stab in The Dark (Matt Scudder Mystery) (Paperback)
essentially overall it was a good book but i found it very hard to keeo everybody straight and who was involved with who. and i never really followed the investigation very well so when the guilty guy was revealed i had no idea where that had come from.

so unfortunately this is why i found this book average
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1 of 1 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
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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 Always high quality crime, 15 Oct 2013
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I was thoroughly gripped by this book, as is usual with Lawrence Block, who seems able to avoid falling into bad habits like some other successful authors. The writing, page by page, is also entertaining: constantly airing and investigating ideas, and with wit and dry humour both in the words and the events.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Block, 23 May 2013
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col2910 (Bedfordshire,UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Stab in The Dark (Matt Scudder Mystery) (Paperback)
Synopsis/blurb....
Louis Pinell, the recently apprehended "Icepick Prowler," freely admits to having slain seven young women nine years ago -- but be swears it was a copycat who killed Barbara Ettinger Matthew Scudder believes him. ...
In this 4th Matthew Scudder book, Scudder is asked to look into the murder of Charles London's daughter, Barbara. At the time she was believed to have been a victim of the "Icepick" serial killer who has been recently arrested. Pinell, the killer has an alibi for when Barbara was slain and London wants Scudder to make some enquiries because the police aren't particularly interested. Who was responsible for Ettinger's death and why?
Scudder's enquiries lead him back to Ettinger's husband at the time, who may or may not having been cheating on Barbara and could ostensibly have been responsible for the murder. Digging deeper and speaking with the original officers who were part of the original enquiry, as well as Barbara's sister and neighbours; Matthew still feels the trail has gone too cold and the task is fruitless. Scudder's involvement also brings him into contact with the victim's employer at the time of her death, Janice Corwin. Sensing a kindred spirit, with a similar fondness for alcohol, they become involved.
After upsetting someone with his questions and the consequent re-opening of old wounds, London tries to yank Scudder off the case. As Scudder hasn't actually been hired he refuses and continues to dig until he finds the answer.
I enjoyed the continuation of Block's series and Scudder's continued descent deeper and deeper into the bottle. There is an acknowledgement from him of issues with alcohol, brought home to him, when Jan breaks off their fledgling relationship. How he addresses these difficulties, I'm hoping is explored in book 5 of the series which I will be reading next month.
This was another enjoyable and solid book from Block. I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who has enjoys crime fiction and watching the evolution and development of a main character.

4 from 5
I bought my copy second-hand years ago, source forgotten.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent plot and characters, 16 Dec 2014
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Nightowl (Worcestershire, England) - See all my reviews
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Another very enjoyable book - I like his plots especially because they are so very original. I shall keep reading.
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A Stab in The Dark (Matt Scudder Mystery)
A Stab in The Dark (Matt Scudder Mystery) by Lawrence Block (Paperback - 6 July 2000)
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