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Publisher's Summary

Jerry Broadfield thinks he's a good cop. But now he's been charged with extortion - and his former buddies in the NYPD would like to see him laid out on a morgue slab for squealing to a committee on police corruption. Suddenly, he's got a lot of enemies, and when a dead call girl turns up in his apartment, his troubles get even bigger. Broadfield screams "setup," but nobody believes him - except ex-policeman, now unlicensed PI Matthew Scudder. Because Broadfield turned traitor no cop is going to give Scudder any help with this investigation, so Scudder's on his own. But finding a killer among the stoolie cop's sleazebag connections is going to be as difficult as pouring a cold beer in hell - where some of Broadfield's enemies would like to see Scudder if he gets himself in too deep.

©1976 Lawrence Block. All rights reserved. (P)2011 AudioGo

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Another calm cool and collected detective...

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

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  • Story

Excellent narration. A lesser Scudder mystery.

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.

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  • Rhonda
  • Oak Ridge, TN, United States
  • 09-28-13

Series gets better

The story is a little weak and boring, but the reader does a good job with what their is to
work with. I have listened to many Scudder books that are further along in the series.
The series gets much better.

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  • antonio
  • genthod, Switzerland
  • 10-27-12

An entertaining New York Noir detective story !

Not much to say : if you like hard-boiled stories with a sense of humor, the New York atmosphere , a very engaging main character , then Matt Scudder's books are for you.

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  • AL
  • 04-01-12

CHOOSE CAREFULLY

It's not Mark Hammer ... not even sure it's Matt Scudder ... I got fooled only because it's Lawrence Block. If they're your favorites it can be tough when they switch on you.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Passible story but terrible narration

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Most Block books are a good listen - this time it was just reasonably well spent

What do you think your next listen will be?

Probably another Block or Sandford book

Would you be willing to try another one of Alan Sklar’s performances?

No. Did not at all like his narration of this book The whispering/sighing narration at times was very annoying and took away form the story. The only worse narrator is L. Block himself.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No. Following Scudder and his evolution in drinking is the attraction to this book. But there is not enough story meat to make a good movie

Any additional comments?

No.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not my cup of tea

What would have made In the Midst of Death better?

Just didn't like it. Story not very tight and I'm not really interested in alcoholics. Narrators phlegmy voice irritated me and he narrated the whole book like Agent...Smith...from...the...Matrix...movies...

What could Lawrence Block have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I'm just a reader, not a writer

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Voice, cadence, etc

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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