- format: Kindle (Amazon)
- Series: Matthew Scudder (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Avon (April 30, 2002)
first published 1976
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 038076363X
- ISBN-13: 978-0380763634
The pretty young prostitute is dead. Her alleged murderer—a minister's son—hanged himself in his jail cell. The case is closed. But the dead girl's father has come to Matthew Scudder for answers, sending the unlicensed private investigator in search of terrible truths about a life that was lived and lost in a sordid world of perversion and pleasures.
It is amazing that I have read as much crime fiction as I have, and never before read a Lawrence Block novel.
In this the debut title, Matt Scudder has recently left the New York Police force, after a decision that he made led to the death of a young girl. He decided that he was no longer able to hold his head up. Scudder is not a licensed PI and does his work for "gifts", and calls in favours from former colleagues and friends. He shows a willingness to go beyond what those employing him might have expected him to do, and in the long run is not afraid to be candid about what he has found out. One of the striking features of this novel is the way the author handles dialogue. The novel sets us up also with lots of background detail on Matthew Scudder.
As The Publisher's Weekly review says, this debut title demonstrates that Block was an excellent writer right from the start.
My rating: 4.6
About the author
A Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, Lawrence Block is a four-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe and Shamus Awards, as well as a recipient of prizes in France, Germany, and Japan. The author of more than fifty books and numerous short stories, he is a devout New Yorker who spends much of his time traveling. Website: http://lawrenceblock.com/