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Firstly, to be clear, I love Lawrence Block's writing style - he is crisp, to the point, sometimes a bit shocking (more so in later books), and non-moralistic. His characters are flawed men who remain calm, cool and collected under pressure... all without any whining or "woe is me" behind it all. There is some mature language, but the story is not gory or graphic.
This is the third book in a series about Matthew Scudder and was originally published in the mid-70s. Surprisingly, it doesn't have a dated feel, other than the references to pay phones and NY City rents. I have read the series to book 7 but this was the first one that I listened to in audio. The story was as good as I expected, and the narration was well-done. My only note was that the narrator didn't have the voice I expected Matthew to have after reading so many books about him... this isn't a negative thing though, it was just a bit surprising.
If you've read others in this series, you will find that Scudder is his typical self and the story is written in Block's typical style. There is no preaching and the resolution is quick and to the point. If you haven't read the others, but like Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, you will probably like this one too. The books stand alone, but the main character is developed over time, so it might be best to start the Scudder series as close to the beginning as you can.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
This was a messy Scudder novel with a less than stellar conclusions. Only tackle it if you are like me and a completion.
Any additional comments?
The narration is excellent. I'm saddened Sklar didn't narrate the entire series.