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Publisher's Summary

This is a city that seduces dreamers - then eats their dreams.

Matthew Scudder understands the futility of his search for a longtime missing Midwestern innocent who wanted to be an actress in the vast meat-grinder called New York City. But her frantic father heard that Scudder is the best, and now the ex-cop turned private investigator is scouring the hell called Hell's Kitchen looking for anything that might resemble a lead. And in this neighborhood of the lost, he's finding love - and death - in the worst possible places.

©1989 Lawrence Block (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • antonio
  • genthod, Switzerland
  • 02-02-14

A great thriller

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Adversity in the Face of Sobriety

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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ben B.
  • Philly 'burbs, PA, US
  • 08-12-17

Moving Scudder-- surprisingly strong ending

I had low expectations coming in, because this audiobook's rating wasn't super high. But I left it very satisfied. It's a pretty good story with surprising nuance. Dan Butler as narrator is a mixed bag. He is a bad choice to voice Matt Scudder, through no fault of his own but just because his voice doesn't match what Scudder fans have come to expect.
However, he is so good at at least one other character that on balance it comes off pretty well. It's hard for those of us spoiled by Alan Sklar, whose voice and manner fit Scudder so well. I wish that he had done all of these books. But Butler earns his keep in the end. I for one would love to spend an evening with his version of The Butcher. Recommended.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great reading by Dan Butler

In my opinion the best for Scudder stories due to his ability to catch the right tone. Also this is one of the best stories with several memorable characters and meditations on trust and betrayal.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good listen

The book kept my attention. I Was surprised at the twist it took at the end.
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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I used to like these books

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

If you want to know all about AA this is the book for you.

If you’ve listened to books by Lawrence Block before, how does this one compare?

This book is my least favorite of his books. I don't thing I will buy another. Good luck with Aa

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Over all its fine.

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

No, I don't like have AA and other drugs shoved down my through.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Boring

The narrator and story just put me to sleep. No sense of urgency or suspense. Author seemed more interested in promoting AA than mystery. Despite good ratings, I wouldn't want to read another Scudder book for fear of more of the same.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful