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Uma Punhalada no Escuro

(Matthew Scudder #4)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  3,912 ratings  ·  196 reviews
Um serial killer mata oito mulheres sem deixar vestígio. Nove anos depois é preso e confessa a autoria dos crimes - mas não de todos. Nega veementemente ter assassinado Barbara Ettinger, a sexta vítima, e apresenta um álibi irrefutável. Mas se não foi ele, quem terá sido? A polícia recusa-se a reabrir o caso, alegando que, passado tanto tempo, é praticamente impossível enc ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published April 2011 by Livros Cotovia (first published 1981)
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Shrewbie Spitzmaus I have a paperback version that I bought years ago and it's only 180 pages... the print (or the spacing/margins) on mine must be considerably smaller…moreI have a paperback version that I bought years ago and it's only 180 pages... the print (or the spacing/margins) on mine must be considerably smaller that the current paperback version... I was also surprised at the 304 pages listed here... (less)
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4.01  · 
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 ·  3,912 ratings  ·  196 reviews

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Bill  Kerwin
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Dan Schwent
Nine years ago, eight women were gruesomely slain with an icepick. The killer was finally apprehended and it turns out he was in an asylum at the time of the eighth murder. So who the hell killed Barbara Ettinger? That's what her father, Charles London, is paying Matthew Scudder to find out...

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
James Thane
Matthew Scudder prowls the streets of New York City for the fourth time in A Stab in the Dark. By now the character has been firmly established: Matt is an ex-cop who left the force under tragic circumstances and who now works unofficially as a private detective. He doesn't have a license; he doesn't pay taxes, and he doesn't fill out paperwork. But sometimes he does a "favor" for a friend and the "friend" shows her or her gratitude by giving Matt money.

He also drinks. Heavily by this point. But
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 Dark
Ah, 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. Ca
Jason Koivu
These Matthew Scudder books aren't action-packed, sometimes they're even slow, but boy howdy, do I ever enjoy them!

I like the picture you get of New York City in the '70s (At least with these first few books in the series. I'm not sure about the rest, because I haven't read them). I love Scudder's character. He's not in it for the money. Admirable. I like the light mystery involved in each book. Lawrence Block keeps you guessing! All of these things and probably a few more I'm forgetting right n
When you’ve hit a point where you’ve read hundreds of books and age starts to degrade your memory, you sometimes doubt your previous assessments. I’d read most of the Scudder novels anywhere from 10 to 15 years ago, and while I thought they were very good, I’d started to wonder if they were actually as good as I remembered. Having reread the first four, I’m very happy to find that these are actually even better than I originally thought.

Matt gets hired by a man whose daughter, Barbara, was suppo
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was in kind of a cranky mood when I began this installment of my adventures with Matthew Scudder- in one of those nitpicky modes where anything that can annoy you will do so. I even got so far as starting on a bit of a tirade regarding the use of an icepick as a murder weapon (see below). But, this is what makes Lawrence Block such a stud of an author- if I had just been patient, I would have saved myself from my own ramblings re. the dangerous weapon of choice, as Scudder, too, takes issue wi ...more
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Scudder fans
Shelves: mystery, male-lead
A lightweight read at only 156 pages. Good suspense and interesting mystery.

In this one, a serial killer is caught by police. The catch? He only confesses to seven of the murders and has an airtight alibi for the eighth. The father of the eighth victim realizes he needs a new kind of closure and hires Scudder to investigate. He pursues it like a terrier; hanging on, chasing down leads from nine years ago, drinking his way through the city. After he interviews the remarried husband and his new wi
David Schaafsma
In The Midst of Death, finally, a former colleague asks him how he is doing, asks him about drinking, suggests he doesn't have to “climb back inside the bottle” when things go south. And they do, and he does. In this book, a woman named Janice Corwin he interviews for the case calls him out, while they are drinking: “You know what we are, Matthew? We’re both a couple of drunks,” and he goes so far at this point to admit he is “in the drinking life.” If this were a book simply about crime, well, ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
Days off, laying on the sofa reading. Sweet dreams are made of these. Add a drunken PI on a self destructive life path and the dream turns slightly darker. Hooray for Lawrence Block!

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
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is by far, my favorite of the Scudder books at this point. Once again, I am presented with the 5 star problem. With the other 3 getting the same rating, how do I differentiate between the installments? I don't have an answer for that. Stop making me feel bad!

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
*3.5 Stars*
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
Mohammed Abdi Osman
This book is my fav Scudder so far and not because of the plot,mystery he has to detect this time. It was the atmosphere,Scudder himself running around in NYC and making the setting coming alive so well. Scudder struggling with his alcoholism,his life in general is interesting as always. The case was interesting,not too flashy,convulted plot twists like there is too often in PI stories. I like it was mostly instinct,legwork much more realistic than what you usually see in the subgenre.

After this
Tom Swift
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nobody better than Block and the Matthew Scudder series.
Cathy DuPont
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forever Questions Answered About New York City Boroughs
From the book...
SoHo is from South of Houston (street location)
Tribeca is from Triangle Below Canal


Matthew Scudder is such a tortured anguished, unlicensed P.I. I hate that overused word for these protagonist and hate that word protagonist, too.

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
Nov 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-noir
My least favorite of the Scudder books so far. My enjoyment of this series comes from Scudder dealing with all his personal issues not from the cases he runs. Not that the cases are bad, that's just not what thrills me. This book had a couple of those moments, talking with another cop who left the force, discussing drinking habits with a new girlfriend, a phone conversation with his ex-wife but not enough for me. Block does a good job of portraying the mundane aspects of investigating but that's ...more
Glad to get to the end of the book. I'm not much of a fan of alcoholic former cop detectives. Don't think I will be reading another Scudder book. Did remind of the days when you needed to find a pay phone and a telephone book in order to call anybody! 2 Stars
Jun 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I enjoyed this a lot. A quick read and with a surprisingly amount of character work along with a pretty good mystery.
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tortured soul Scudder tries to help a businessman whose only daughter was killed by a serial ice pick wielder. The only problem - she wasn't.
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Stab in the Dark, the fourth entry in Lawrence Block’s fantastic Matthew Scudder detective series, is another strong (and bleak) tale.

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
Mithun Prasad
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lawrence-block
I had plan to read at least three books from other authors before I go back to Lawrence Block. But like Matt Scudder's obsession with bourbon, I am obsessed to Lawrence Blocks' books. And the sight of the unread Lawrence Block books occupied in my modest library is just irresistible.

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
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, audiobook

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
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I think this my favorite Lawrence Block novel to date. Great stuff!
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great series! Ex-cop and unlicensed PI Matt Scudder is a brilliant flawed hero. My New Year's resolution for 2015 is to read more Lawrence Block books!
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best one in the series so far finds Scudder trying to solve a 9 year old murder that was mistakenly attributed to a serial killer.

The plot is smart without being convoluted, a coincidence solves it in the end but it is integrated in the story in a manner that feels organic. The mysteries always make Scudder look smart for solving them but they mainly highlight his perseverance and pragmatism. The only minor con is this being the third time in four entries that Scudder gets the killer to do s
Noah Goats
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lawrence Block is just a great crime writer with a gift for creating characters and dialogue. He can be funny when he wants (see the Burglar books) but in this series he goes dark.

The Matthew Scudder is an ex-cop with some serious demons in his past, and he fights them with a combination of bourbon and meditating in the back pews of empty churches. He's a product of pre-Giuliani New York City and he's as gritty as the streets he walks. He's complicated and real. He is a great detective for a se
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Matthew Scudder prowls the streets of New York in hope of finding a thread of a murder trail that has long been cold. A serial killer has confessed to the murder of seven woman, but insists he had nothing to do with the death of an eighth victim. The dead woman's father hires Scudder to investigate, and the facts he uncovers tend to confirm the killer's claim of innocence. This tells him a new killer purposely copied earlier crimes—which makes it likely he had a personal motive. Scudder, very mu ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, Block has produced a reliable, well-written mystery with wisdom and insight. Scudder's drinking always bothers me, but that's the point, and I know there's a trajectory, having read the novels in no reasonable order. Block is really good.
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b, 2013
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. ...
In this 4th Matthew Scudder book, Scudder is asked to look into the murder of Charles London’s daughter, Barbara. At the time she was believed to have been a victim of the “Icepick” serial killer who has been recently arrested. Pinell, the killer has an alibi for wh
Benoit Lelièvre
There's a Lawrence Block cult among the crime fiction readers and although I really liked the first couple Matthew Scudder novels, I didn't understand where all that reverence was coming from.

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
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Lawrence Block has been writing crime, mystery, and suspense fiction for more than half a century. He has published in excess (oh, wretched excess!) of 100 books, and no end of short stories.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., LB attended Antioch College, but left before completing his studies; school authorities advised him that they felt he’d be happier elsewhere, and he thought this was remarkably perceptiv

Other books in the series

Matthew Scudder (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • The Sins of the Fathers (Matthew Scudder, #1)
  • Time to Murder and Create (Matthew Scudder, #2)
  • In the Midst of Death (Matthew Scudder, #3)
  • Eight Million Ways to Die (Matthew Scudder, #5)
  • When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (Matthew Scudder, #6)
  • Out on the Cutting Edge (Matthew Scudder, #7)
  • A Ticket to the Boneyard (Matthew Scudder, #8)
  • A Dance At The Slaughterhouse (Matthew Scudder, #9)
  • A Walk Among the Tombstones (Matthew Scudder, #10)
  • The Devil Knows You're Dead (Matthew Scudder, #11)
“But whenever there’s the right kind of nut making headlines, a Slasher or an Icepick Prowler, a certain number of people get pistol permits and a certain number of others buy illegal guns. Then some of them get drunk and shoot their wives. None of them ever seems to wind up nailing the Slasher. I” 1 likes
More quotes…