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In the Midst of Death Audio Cassette – Jun 2000

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Chivers Audio Books; Unabridged edition (June 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792723678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792723677
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 14.4 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 327 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Block's detective, Matthew Scudder, the former New York City police officer, now tries to discover who killed a call girl and pinned the murder on a policeman who is cooperating with an investigation into corruption. The story is very tight and well written and filled with a cross section of New York City denizens. The person who hired Scudder is blatantly crooked, and Scudder himself was involved with both money and women while on the force. However, as with the other entries in this series, the compelling focus is the detective's battle with alcoholism. As presented in A Stab in the Dark, Scudder's drinking increases; he functions well enough to solve the case, but suffers more and more from the effects of the booze. Reader Alan Sklar does an excellent job; recommended for all audio collections. Stephen L. Hupp, Urbana Univ., OH
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Lawrence Block was awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2004. He is also a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America. He is the author of many novels and short stories and has won numerous awards for his mystery writing. He lives and works in New York City. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa2e54c54) out of 5 stars 60 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa301f6b4) out of 5 stars A short but engaging early Scudder novel April 22 2001
By Brian D. Rubendall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lawrence Block's early Matthew Scudder novels are considerably shorter and less complex than later entries in the series. Scudder was still drinking during this time period and here he makes his first acknowledgement that it might be getting out of control. The plot is intriguing, a dirty cop begins cooperating with an anti-corruption probe and is framed for murder. Scudder must answer two questions who did the frame up and why did the cop suddenly decide to become a rat? "In the Midst of Death" is one of the bleaker entires in the Scudder series both in terms of its outcome and for what happens in Scudder's personal life. It is not an essential entry in the series, but it is a good one.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f4c3fc) out of 5 stars Pretty good, but not up to Block's normal high standard. May 5 2000
By Gary Jonas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With this book, the third in the Matthew Scudder series, Scudder is hired by a crooked cop named Jerry Broadfield, who decides to grab a bit of the limelight by exposing corruption in the police department. Problem: a hooker Broadfield was seeing turns up dead in his apartment. The police won't do much to investigate, of course, because Broadfield betrayed the badge. That leaves Scudder to go after the killer.
It's a good book, but it doesn't measure up to the high standards set by other volumes in the series. Part of this is because there's not enough focus on the characters. Seems strange to type that about Lawrence Block, who normally writes great characters. This time around it feels like he wasn't sure where he wanted to go with the series, so Matt is the same at the end of the book as he was at the beginning. He's simply there to go through the motions and solve the crime.
However, even on Block's worst day, he's better than most writers on their best day. So the book will still entertain you and it's worth reading. Just don't expect to be blown away this time.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f8924c) out of 5 stars The series is starting to take off Sept. 4 2001
By Tom Bruce - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For for the first time in the Matt Scudder series -- now three books long -- the word "alcoholic" rears its ugly head; it's not uttered by Matt, but suggested by a questioning friend. And Matt is full of denial: he can stop anytime he wants, he doesn't drink that much, it doesn't interfere with his capabilities. But, during the solving of this mystery, Matt's seldom far from his last or next drink, he's already suffering blackouts, and he made several tactical, and possibly deadly, errors because of a brain fogged by burbon and coffee. But in between his repeated toss-backs, we have another tight little mystery: This time his client is a cop on the take who gets too greedy and is set up to appear to have killed a hooker. And we get to meet some original and intriguing characters: like Doug Furhman, a character that would be perfect for the acting talents of the late Elisha Cook, Jr., and Kenny the owner of Sinthia's, a gay Village bar. Elaine, the call girl, is back from the first book with a more substantial role in this tale. And there's the client's wife with whom Matt has fling, thankfully alluded to, not given a full desription by Block. And Matt keeps the affair going by feeding her the lines she wants to hear, or could it be that he is so desperately lonely that he really means them and it is her that is stringing his emotions along? It's a dirty big city, but I'm glad Matt lives there and Lawrence Block takes us along with him on his adventures.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa39f08f4) out of 5 stars Scudder Heads Towards Oblivion July 4 2002
By Untouchable - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this, the 3rd book in the series, Matt Scudder is asked for help by a New York copy who believes a prostitute is setting him up. Before he can make too many inroads into the case, the prostitute is dead and the policeman is arrested on suspicion of being responsible. Something doesn't ring true to Scudder, particularly when he finds out the cop has been providing information to Internal Affairs, putting him on the out with his fellow officers.
This is one of the darker books in the Matt Scudder series with Matt sinking into a growing depression and succumbing to the bottle with increasing regularity. Although sinking heavily into alcoholism in this book, he still manages to hold it all together enough to perform his job admirably well.
Scudder is a very interesting character, but he is also defined by the actions that he can't explain, even to himself. A perfect example of this is his habit of tithing. He admits that he is in no way religious, yet every time he is paid, he tithes ten per cent of his earnings to the nearest church. The amusing part is that Scudder can't explain why he does it and reacts to it with head-shaking bemusement.
This is a typical hardboiled mystery, sometimes despairingly so, featuring a character who grows more fascinating and enigmatic the more we find out about him.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2de3a5c) out of 5 stars Scudder Working For A Client No One Else Will Touch Dec 1 2014
By Dave Wilde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
If, like I did, you started reading the Matthew Scudder series with some of the later books in the series where Scudder runs from AA meeting to AA meeting, it comes as a shock to delve into the early books in the series where he is actually rolling from bar to bar and often barely remembers his conversations from the previous night. Obviously, the bar-hopping life has to precede the AA meetings, but it gives the story a decidedly different feel.

You can pick up the Scudder novels in just about any order and be intrigued. For the most part, they are each independent books. Each one is a terrific detective novel. If you think these novels are going to be about a hardboiled detective with a fedora and a sexy secretary taking dictation, you will be quite surprised. Although derived from the hardboiled tradition, the Scudder books are different. Scudder is an old-fashioned detective who puts together little bits and pieces and figures things out by dogged work.

Scudder, if you did not know, is a former police officer. One night, off duty in a bar (where else would he be), he sees two guys hold up the joint and take out the bartender. Pursuing them outside, Scudder took them out, but a stray bullet from his gun ricocheted into the skull of a seven-year-old girl, ending her life. The shooting was found justified, but Scudder lost the desire for police work, the desire for his married life, and holed up in Hell’s Kitchen, doing favors for people in return for a few bucks. It is a dark period of his life and he literally tries to drown his troubles in booze.

“In The Midst Of Death” is a terrific detective story and certainly deserves five stars. An officer (Jerry Broadfield) has had it with graft and crooked double-dealings and has talked to a special prosecutor. No one on the NYPD has any love for him anymore and someone put a call girl up to alleging that Broadfield has been demanding weekly payments from her. Suddenly, the special prosecutor wants nothing to do with Broadfield and neither does anyone else. Scudder doesn’t like the guy, doesn’t like the fact he can’t tell when the guy is lying or not. He talks to the call girl, who is mesmerizing to him. When the call girl ends up slashed apart in Broadfield’s apartment, the whole world is ready to parade him up to the Attica and Scudder is about all Broadfield’s got. Scudder doesn’t think the crime makes any sense. Broadfield is way too smart to leave a dead body in his apartment. Scudder pokes around here and there, trying to figure out the connections, trying to figure out what went on.

The novel is perfectly paced and I, at least, found that it was hard to put down. It has a dark, hard feel to it, but it is not another remake of the classic hardboiled fedora-wearing detective. This is a novel with depth and substance to it and you can see how Block’s writing has matured.

Five stars for this one.