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A Stab in the Dark [Mass Market Paperback]

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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I didn't see him coming. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not Block's best Scudder novel May 1 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While this book did have an entertaining plot, a woman is suspected of being killed by the icepick prowler, but turns out that she wasn't killed by him when he confesses to 7 of the 8 murders he was suspected of. Scudder is thrown into the mix to investigate whether Barbara Ettinger was killed by the Icepick Prowler or a copycat killer. While it is an entertaining and easy read, I felt at times that the quality of writing wasn't nearly as good as 2 of his best scudder novels ever: "Eight Million Ways to Die" and "A Dance at the Slaughterhouse". I just wasn't satisified with the quality of this book, I felt it could have been better. That tends to be the way Block's books are with me, they are either a hit or a miss.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Snore.. snort.. huh? I guess I went to sleep Sept. 27 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I made it the whole way to Jan's and Matt's "enlighting" [not very... cut me a break Block], trite, hack conversation about if he was a drunk or not and realized I was going to sleep. I made a firm decision and tossed the book into the get rid of this asap pile and went and found something else to read.
Block reads like "she said... he said..." conversations. Dry comes to mind. As I said in a previous review if you really hate "show not tell" in novels this is the writer for you. He does no showing at all. I feel as if I am listening to someone outline what might be a very good book. I had read another book of his which had the same fate as this one: halfway I tossed it into the get rid of this do NOT pass on to someone you like pile.
Matt comes across as the most pathetic attempt at an alcoholic I have encountered in novels [or in real life and I use to work Drug and Alcohol units]. He meanders aimlessly thru his addiction and Block meanders aimlessly thru the plot. Well suited for each other. It's a shame. As I said previously there is great potential for a GREAT story here. It was wasted more than Matt ever was in his drinking days.
IF you must try Block, I suggest the library.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Hardboiled Fiction Aug. 1 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the 4th book in the Matt Scudder series and is a very appropriately titled book, with Scudder investigating a stabbing murder that happened 9 years ago. He doesn't particularly look forward to the case but, with nothing better to do, he begins to sift through old ground in between cups of bourbon-laced coffee.
The Matt Scudder character is the important feature of this book as we follow his tortured journey around New York City chasing up clues in a long-dead case. He unearths clues and leads as a good detective should, but it's his battle with the bottle that proves the most fascinating story. He finally gets a good hard smack across the chops in this book which may help put him on the road to sobriety, at least, it scares him enough to consider he may need help.
This is another fine example of an outstanding modern hardboiled mystery, just part of an outstanding hardboiled series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scudder sees the err of his alcoholic ways... May 20 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is probably the best Matt Scudder book I've read yet. It takes us to a time when Scudder drank but never thought about his habit as something that was gradually controlling his life. He picks up a very interesting case, a particularly greusome murder that slipped through the cracks 9 years earlier and is only now receiving a true investigation. When the beautiful young girl turns out to be anything but an innocent victim, her father (Scudder's client) fires him and refuses to go on cooperating with the investigation. It's too late for Matt, though. He's onto something here, and he knows it. Scudder won't rest until he's solved the case, or at least finished himself off with a case of bourbon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Scudder book in the series up to this point Feb. 21 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lawrence Block took his Scudder books to a new level in "Stab in the Dark". The first three books were good enough to keep me reading, but they were not anything special. In the other books the only thing that kept me interested was Block's style and Scudder's character. The mysteries were never that interesting. This book however has a wonderful plot and has a wonderful supporting cast. Everything about this book surpassed the previous entries. While Scudder, himself, has always been a good character this entry allows the reader to probe inside his mind a little more. Hopefully this was Block's stepping stone and the rest of the series is on par with this one. It is a must read for any P.I. lover.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Scudder is losing control March 7 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The fourth novel in the Matthew Scudder series shows our hero's drinking starting to spin out of control. Eventually, this would lead him to AA, sobriety and a more upbeat outlook. But back in the bad old days, he investigates a compelling mystery in which the supposed victim of a serial killer turns out to have been the victim of a copycat crime. This is made more complicated by the fact that the murder happened nine years before. Though the story is relatively brief at a mere 180 pages in trade paperback form, it is well written and contains enough suspense to keep you on edge. Scudder wasn't a happy guy before he dried up. And this is one of the best of his early "wet" adventures.
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