Nine long years have passed since the killer last struck - nine years since eight helpless young women were brutally slaughtered by an icepick-wielding maniac. The trail grew cold and the book was unofficially closed on a serial killer who stopped killing. But now "The Icepick Prowler" has confessed - but only to seven of the killings. Not only does he deny the eighth, he has an airtight alibi. Barbara Ettinger's family had almost come to accept that the young woman was the victim of a random killing. Now they must grapple with the shocking revelation that not only was her death disguised to look like the serial killer's work, but her murderer may have been someone she knew and trusted. Matthew Scudder has been hired to finally bring her slayer to justice, setting the relentless detective on the trail of a death almost a decade old, searching for a vicious murderer who's either long gone, long dead... or patiently waiting to kill again.
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Scudder's alcoholism is becoming an issue
Scudder is unraveling.
While not an awful narrator, I actually preferred the previous narrator in the series. This one had a taste for the cliche when picking his voices. Even Scudder's inner voice had a little New York cab driver in it.
This one made me feel the depressive pull of falling in the bottle. It did a very good job of capturing the state of denial alcoholics find themselves in. Scudder keeps finding new ways to explain his drunken actions.
If you want to know when the writing takes a notch up, this would be it. Scudder has become a fully complex character. You may even grow to dislike him at points during this one. That is not a bad thing. A truly heroic character needs flaws front, center, and hidden.
- Justin D.