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Preview — A Stab in the Dark by Lawrence Block
A Stab in the Dark (Matthew Scudder #4)
Louis Pinell, the recently apprehended "Icepick Prowler," freely admits to having slain seven young women nine years ago -- but be swears it was a copycat who killed Barbara Ettinger Matthew Scudder believes him. But the trail to Ettinger's true murderer is twisted, dark and dangerous...and even colder than the almost decade-old corpse the p.i. is determined to avenge.
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Lawrence Block does it again. In the fourth volume, Matthew Scudder struggles with his alcoholism and follows a trail nine years cold. Once again, Block did a good job tricking me into thinking I knew who t ...more
He also drinks. Heavily by this point. But ...more
This fourth book in the Matt Scudder series is an absorbing mystery in itself, but it also deepens and darkens Block's portrait of his hard-drinking, guilt-ridden hero, and, through the use of two effective foils (an alcoholic woman sculptor and a damaged former cop), increases Scudder's self-knowledge and points him toward change.
Scudder is hired to investigate the case of Barbara Ettinger, classified as a victim of “The Icepick Killer” when she was murdered nine years ago. But “The Icepick Kil ...more
The brandy, I told myself. Probably be a good idea to stay away from it. Stick to what you're used to. Stick to bourbon. I went on over to Armstrong's. A little bourbon would take the edge off the brandy rush. A little bourbon would take the edge off almost anything. ~A Stab in the DarkAh, Matt. Things are getting pretty dark for you my friend. Rock bottom is rushing up to meet you at about 200 miles an hour. It's going to hit like a freight train and I'm afraid you won't even see it coming. C ...more
Matt gets hired by a man whose daughter, Barbara, was suppo ...more
Matt Scudder, unlicensed PI returns for his fourth instalment, this time doing a favour for a bereaved father who has recently discovered that his dead daughter is the only "victim" of a captured serial killer that he couldn't possibly have murdered. Once more treading the unsafe streets of New York, bourbon and coff ...more
I really wanted to open this review with the line, "My favorite part was when Scudder drinks coffee with bourbon" (get it? 'cause that's like 90% of the novel) but I thought better of it. Scudder's boozing is totally out of control in A ...more
It's going to get harder and harder writing fresh reviews for these Lawrence Block novels, that don't sound terribly repetitive! Once again he has written a solid piece of detective mystery fiction in this latest installment in his Matthew Scudder series, about an ex-cop who lives a lonely life in a hotel room in Manhattan and does "favors" for people as an unlicensed private investigator. In this novel, Scudder takes on a nine-year old cold case after a serial killer is finally caugh ...more
After this ...more
From the book...
SoHo is from South of Houston (street location)
Tribeca is from Triangle Below Canal
Matthew Scudder is such a
Let's say Scudder has some definite daytime and night-time mares (Cockney slang, folks, easy to figure out.)
Those mares walk with him every waking and sleeping moment for this ex-cop who r ...more
The Icepick Prowler has been apprehended, and now finally closure can come to the families and friends of the eight women horrifically murdered by this fiend. Well, make that seven of the families. This maniac with an affinity for skewering young women throughout the Five Boroughs with an apparatus intended only for breaking up ice to chill our refreshing bever ...more
A serial killer tabloided as Icepick prowler who picks eyes of innocent random women after he stabs them to death, gets caught by utter fluke and indicted presumably for eight murders.He confesses to seven of those ...more
While the resolution to this one is possible, it seems a little farfetched to me. Still, this is well worth your time.
I must admit that it's fun to read a series which is set in New York. Parts of this one take place in towns very near where I live which, for some reason, adds to my enj ...more
I understand now.
Scudder picks up the pace in A STAB IN THE DARK. He starts struggling with the idea that he is an alcoholic and it starts spilling on the other aspects of his life. When the father of a long dead murder victims offers him to take the case, Scudder has difficulty dealing with the mediocrity ...more
As Scudder sifts through the clues and questions the people closest to the case, he continues to fight a losing battle with his demons. He's a complicated guy and his descent to rock bottom is what makes these books so much more than a simple procedural ...more
SETTING: New York
SERIES: #4 of 17
WHY: Matt Scudder, unlicensed PI, is convinced to look at the murder of a young woman named Barbara Ettinger nine years earlier. Her supposed killer, the "Icepick Murderer", eventually murdered 8 woman. But it appears that she may have been killed by a copycat. The plot is fine, but of more interest is the fact that Scudder is relying heavily on booze to make it through the day.
Matthew Scudder is a former police detective who has chosen to drop out of the mainstream and coast along on the fringes of society. When he needs money - or when he feels like it - he takes on cases as a "favor" to those who need his help, he makes a point of telling potential favor seekers that, since he doesn't have a license, he's ...more
But not to one of the eight, the murder of a married child-care assistant from Brooklyn named Barbara Ettinger, which occurred while he was temporarily incarcerated.
So Barbara's father, Charles London, knows that whoever killed his daughter is still on the streets, only the police won't touch a case gr ...more
Another solid entry into the Scudder series with the usual case of top notch detective work using grit and determination to find answers long hidden but also the addition/continuation of Matt Scudder's downward spiral with alcohol. Alcohol has been long mentioned in the previous books but here it is taken to a new level, more emphasis on his issues and how it is effecting his judgment. It was a good addition to the book and added more to the character than previous entries.
Matt is hired to f ...more
What makes a whiskey bourbon?
"The law. While knocking back a dram of bourbon is a decidedly carefree exercise, making it is exceedingly technical and requires that the whiskey meet a rigid set of criteria. The Federal Standards of Identi ...more
I must say this one is a little different in that he didn't get to know the victim, or a good clear picture of her, like in the previous books. It makes sense, of course, since the murder took place nine years ago. The theme was more about wives and families and the relationships between them.
Don't let that dissuade you, though. There's nothing not to like, a ...more
From his web site:
I'm told every good author website needs a bio, so here's mine:
"Lawrence Block's novels range from the urban noir of Matthew Scudder (A Drop of the Hard Stuff) to the urbane effervescence of Bernie Rhodenbarr (The Burglar on the Prowl), while other characters include the globe-trotting insomniac Evan Tanne ...more