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I believe Lawrence Block “at his best” is among the three top thriller writers of the past 20 (30?) years. A great writer, but also very inconsistent: he reaches his best in the Matt Scudder books where the affinity with the main character, the need to deliver complex and consistently new plots, the familiar New York ambiance (where Scudder stories are taking place) truly inspire him and contribute to deliver excellent results. While the Rodenbarr’s series are pleasant, but lightweight, the Keller books were surprising and stunning at first, but get repetitive and almost boring as new episodes come out, Matt Scudder continue to grip the reader with wit, dark dramas and the finely described characters and the environment of New York.
Scudder is following two cases at once: one involving a girl, a would-be
actress, who has been missing for several months. The second is more personal and involves the dead of an AA friend. In both the situations the police has given up and the leads few and scants. Suddenly both cases fortuitously intertwine and …..
By the way, Dan Butler is superb !
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Excellent Scudder novel. Subtle as always. It has a low emphasis on plot and a higher emphasis on small moments. I think this is one of those series that for me will be a 5 star series with very few 5 star books. The quality is consistent and they seem intentionally minimalist so when the moments happen they feel larger than they are. I think I might have been harsher on the earlier books because I didn't get this right away. I think if I ever reread them the first few would fair better in my mind. Great dialogue in this one. Block is also a bit more giving with the ending in this one. Sometime he hangs you out to dry. Starting with Eight Million Ways to Die the series has really found it's legs.
As far as the narrator portion of the review...
Dan Butler was serviceable. Not the voice I'd peg for Scudder. Maybe a bit too nasally. I had to adjust at first but I got use to his delivery. Don't let it scare you off. Not a bad narration, not a great one either.