A Dance At The Slaught...
Lawrence Block
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A Dance At The Slaughterhouse (Matthew Scudder #9)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  2,052 ratings  ·  67 reviews
The police can’t prove that socialite Richard Thurman arranged the rape, torture and murder of his beautiful, pregnant wife. The dead woman’s brother thinks Matt Scudder can.

During his ongoing battle with the bottle, ex-cop, ex-boozer Scudder left a little bit of his soul on every seedy corner of the Big Apple. But this case will drag him deeper into the mire than he’s eve...more
Published (first published 1991)
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Picking this one up I was not prepared for such a trip into dark and depraved waters. This is more than Scudder has ever gone up against previously and definitely the strongest in the series since Eight Million Ways To Die. While we've moved along in years out of the 80's into the early 90's, New York City continues to be a seething trap of anger and violence and desperation with all those ways to die and Scudder has stumbled upon yet another one. This time, he didn't even go looking for it, not...more
A few years ago I was talking to somebody in my cube at work, and the name of the small town I grew up in came up. A woman who worked in the cube across the aisle from mine looked up and said that since I was from that town, that I must know of this other smaller town that was nearby. I laughed and replied that my relatives made up 80% of the population of that town. She asked if I was related to X. He was my second cousin. She was his ex-wife. We had worked across from each other for a year wit...more
Dan Schwent
Matthew Scudder is hired to figure out if a TV anchor man killed his wife. But what does that have to do with a snuff film a friend of Matt's found disguised as the Dirty Dozen at a video store?

Scudder really stepped in it this time. The Stettners, and to a lesser extent Richard Thurman, the accused anchor, are perverts and psychopaths of the worst kind, the kind that prey on children. I thought James Leo Motely in the previous Scudder book was the worst villain Block could come up with but I w...more
Anthony Vacca
A Dance at the Slaughterhouse may not have the most inspired name, but this 9th entry in Lawrence Block’s inimitable series of novels starring Matthew Scudder—a reformed alcoholic and an ex-dirty-cop who now makes a living as an unlicensed PI—stands as yet another beacon of excellence in a line-up of absurdly high quality mysteries that prove, again and again, the unique literary traits and themes that a well-written genre novel can reckon with unlike any other game in town, and does so in a man...more
Matt Scudder is hired by the brother of a recently murdered woman. He's given the unfortunate task of investigating the husband who is believed by most to have had a hand in her demise. Shortly after taking the job, Matt finds himself drawn back into something that had impacted his life just a few months earlier.

Coming off the heels of the 8th Scudder novel in which Matt encounters his most dangerous adversary, Block created an impressive follow up. Block gives Scudder plenty to do here, hitting...more
"Stay tuned," I said. "Don't change the channel."

Why would anyone get to the 9th book in the Matthew Scudder series and not be eager and ready to read the 10th??

This one is all about nasty sex crimes against children, murder...and of course Matt as he ties it all together and then decides what he’s going to do about it. Love the returning appearance of many characters... Elaine...Joe Durkin...even Andy the dart player. And my personal favourite...Mick Ballou. Block is genius at reminding his rea...more
This is my second P.I. Matt Scudder book. First class hardboiled fare. Snuff films, Matt's meetings, boxing matches -- it's all in here. Mr. Block has to write some of the smoothest prose in fiction today. Great stuff.
The ninth Matt Scudder novel, in which he’s hired to determine whether a socialite raped and killed his own wife. Scudder’s shadowing of the perp leads, through a possibly unlikely set of circumstances, to his discovery of a snuff-film and thrill-murder ring. The unbelievable way in which the two plots intersect is a minor flaw, as is the introduction of TJ, the cartoonish street-talking, street-wise Stereotypical Black Kid, who will become even sillier later. A small step down from the previous...more
Tim Niland
Unlicensed private investigator Matthew Scudder is approached by a fellow attendee at an AA meeting asking him to look at a videocassette he recently acquired. It turns out to have a brutal sado-masochistic snuff film. Scudder is shocked and appalled, but doesn't know what he can do, the killers were masked and their victim another disappeared child of the street. At the same time, he takes a case of a murdered woman in Manhattan. She was brutally raped and murdered while the husband was barely...more
First Line: Midway into the fifth round the kid in the blue trunks rocked his opponent with a solid left to the jaw.

A Dance At the Slaughterhouse is the ninth novel to feature Lawrence Block’s private detective, Matthew Scudder. Scudder, an unlicensed detective and currently sober alcoholic is hired to find out if (or how) a TV producer manged to stage the rape and murder of his own wife. Of course, as with most of the detective novels I’ve read so far, that really only describes the plot at the...more
It's funny, this book started out as a boxing book and I almost dropped it right there. Then chapter two came along and I was hooked.

Prominent attorney Richard Thurman and his wife are brutally attacked following an evening out as they arrive home in their apartment. She is raped and beaten, he is robbed and knocked unconscious. Upon reviving, he discovers his hands are bound, mouth taped and his wife dead on the floor. He manages to knock over a lamp and his pipe-cleaning tool with which he pok...more
I'm not sure why I've never read any of Lawrence Block's books before, since his name has been familiar almost since I started reading mysteries. This is one of the Matt Scudder novels. Scudder is an unlicensed private eye, ex-cop, recovering alcoholic deep into the Program; his apparent best friend is a real hard guy who's into a lot of illegal activities and his girlfriend is a callgirl. Needless to say he lives in New York (where else?) I would almost say I enjoyed this book in spite of mysel...more
When i read first half of this novel it was midlevel quality Scudder book but it ended being a real powerful story both emotionally, cerebrally. It dealt with deeper issues than you expect in crime books, Scudder had to deal in the end with morally questionable things that bothered me both emotionally and if it was right or wrong in my mind.

I had to think through what was discussed by the characters a few times when i finished the novel. I enjoyed that it left me something to think about afterw...more
Kathleen Hagen
A Dance at the Slaughterhouse, by Lawrence Block, A. Narrated by Joe Barrett, Produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

This, to my mind, is the best one I’ve read so far of the Matt Scudder series. In this one, Matt goes to an A. A. meeting where he is approached by another attendee and handed what appears to be a VCR tape of “The Dirty dozen.” He says, “I’ve seen this many times, why are you giving me this tape?” The man responded: “you haven’t seen a tape like this.” He was rig...more
Matt Allen
There's little I can say about Block that hasn't already been said, but A Dance at the Slaughterhouse is a great example of why he's worthy of such praise.

Imagine pulling a chair up to a tableful of world-hardened, loquacious guys with bruised reputations. They're not going to be beholden to your timeframe, they'll raise their eyebrows (or their fists) if you suggest maybe they're wandering far off topic, but sooner or later, if you'll just keep your mouth shut, you'll hear such stories of excit...more
Block's Matt Scudder series is about a NY ex-cop private investigater recovering alcoholic whose girlfriend is a high-priced prostitute. And you think you got troubles?
This novel I've singled out is probably smack-dab in the middle of the series, but it really doesn't matter. It's a gritty read about the snuff movie industry. Great writer here, folks.
I've read four or five from the Scudder series and they're all great reads.
nice! this is a good one. scudder wallows through the sex underworld to vigilantize those who believe themselves above the law. there's more than the usual moral grey area here, which only serves to spice the stew. i walked by the real-life building where fictional scudder lives the other day, and i honestly wished i could have rang his bell and had a conversaton with him - - actually felt like i could have. that's good writing.
The second Matthew Scudder mystery I've read, and I enjoyed it much better than the first (When the Sacred Ginmill Closes). The story was darker and grittier and held my interest better, although it is a storyline that's not for the squeamish. I've read a few Burglar series books and all the Keller Hit List series, but after reading this I'll definitely be picking up some others from the Matthew Scudder series as well.
The Matt Scudder series continues to impress, this is a fantastic gritty novel dealing with a sometimes disturbing plot, Block manages to weave the intricate strands together brilliantly. The development of Scudder is once again fantastic with appearances from some of his trusted sidekicks. Great novel and loved the boxing scenes.
As he pursues two futile cases, Matt Scudder ponders the human condition? Why have people always killed and abused other people? Along the way, we gain some fascinating insight into Scudder's antihero Mickey Ballou and we learn just how far Scudder will go to see murder avenged. This might be the best Scudder novel.
Joyce McKune
Matt was asked to prove that a husband had killed his wife even though he was found bound and gaged at the crime scene.
A fellow AA member asked him to look at a video tape and tell him what to do. It was a snuff film taped over the "Dirty Dozen". Now Matt was looking into that murder as well.
Parathy Rajaandra
While the flawed anti-hero protagonist angle is not exactly an unique or original idea when it comes to crime investigation novels, nobody does it better than Lawrence Block, in my humble opinion. I've read most of the Matthew Scudder books and they are always interesting if not gripping.

Some, like this particular novel, however, do bring you to another level of...darkness. While the (spoiler alert!) gun fights and butcher's knifes may be slightly on the theatrical side for a novel that is othe...more
Excellent read

Just reread this one. I'm rereading all the Matthew Scudder books I have. Love Matthew Scudder!
Katherine Clark
As usual, hard for me to rate. Should have been 3 1/2. Wonderful, as always. I think my problem with it is that it seems so much cruder (language and sexually) than previous books by him. I love the books, and am about to start reading the next in the series, but it did bug me. Also, the violence is getting darker. I don't want to quit this series.

I love that Scudder is a recovering alcoholic. I'm finding his commentary useful. For example: Scudder says at an AA meeting "I felt like drinking all...more
Another decent book in the Matthew Scudder detective series. Interesting, but not one of the best. Notable because this book introduces the character of TJ, a teenage street kid who hangs out on 42nd Street (referred to in the books as "the Deuce") and who becomes Scudder's eyes and ears in the street world of New York City. This character evolves significantly in the later books and is now my favorite person in the series. I am under the impression that author Lawrence Block really likes the TJ...more
Whew! I just finished reading this and I'm still shaking inside and a little creeped out. I'm always amazed at how Scudder works out details and metes out the justice.

One of Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr novels had a similar crime to this one--a man's wife is murdered in front of him while he's tied up. If I remember correctly, the killer was also the husband in that book, although in a different way.

I'm not sure how many of the Scudder novels I've read, but I wish I had read them in order. This is...more
Can't really say much except that as usual, it's another gem by Mr. Block. Could say it was his best, but every time I think that's true, I just find another novel of his that tops it!! What I can say, is that I found Matt Scudder especially enjoyable in this book. If you haven't read this one yet, please do, you'll probably like the ending as much as I did. As a side note, I found this very gently used, signed 1st edition at such a low price I'm ashamed to say how low, at a 'Record/book store'....more
Rick Hollis
In typical Scudder fashion, he pokes at a case, something else catches his eye and he pokes at that. He seemly stumblez across some of purest evil he will ever see.

On the way we me some interesting characters [TJ who we will meet again], old characters reappear [Mick Ballou] Joe Durkin, Danny Boy Bell. His relationship with Elaine draws closer. And we have the wonderful dialogue that Lawrence Block writes. I have read other people say this: No one writes better dialogue than Block. His conversa...more
The detective didn't really solve anything, it seemed like the clues and events happened to him. It was gritty and dark but not very surprising.
Already read

the book was well written, but I had a hard time getting through all the violence and sick sick sex.
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Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 2002.

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
More about Lawrence Block...
The Sins of the Fathers (Matthew Scudder, #1) Eight Million Ways to Die (Matthew Scudder, #5) Hit Man (Keller, #1) When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (Matthew Scudder, #6) Burglars Can't Be Choosers (Rhodenbarr, #1)

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