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In the Midst of Death Audio Cassette – Jun 2000

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Audio Cassette, Jun 2000
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Gifts For Dad
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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

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: 51 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
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.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
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.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"One way or another, everybody's nuts" Dec 17 2011
By Michael K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the third outing for Matthew Scudder, late of the NYPD and now living in a mediocre hotel room and working occasionally as an unofficial private detective (he hates licenses and making reports and filing taxes on his earnings). It's quite short, less than 200 pages, dating from a time before Block's best and most popular character had really crawled out of his chrysalis and assumed his later form. But, for the most part, it's not a bad story for all that. Jerry Broadfield is a cop who (he says) got fed up with the corruption in the department and went to the Special Prosecutor, who was delighted to hear his story. But then a young prostitute files charges that he was shaking her down for cash and sex, and Broadfield goes into hiding and engages Scudder to find out who put her up to it. And barely has he started on that when the girl is murdered in his client's own apartment and he's in the Tombs. Matt doesn't especially like the guy -- he's much too full of himself -- but he doesn't consider him stupid, either. And that would be a really stupid way to kill someone. So he takes on this suddenly much more important case -- in which he gets absolutely no help from the police who, typically, would like to see him dead for "betraying" his badge. In fact, it may well be that the murderers were cops themselves. (Block certainly knows that cops behave as they always have.) The plot is increasingly complex from this point, not only in the investigation but in the relationship between Scudder and Broadfield's wife, which is unexpected for both of them -- and not very convincing, I don't think. But Matthew is the only character who is clearly formed. Broadfield, his wife, Scudder's old friends on the force, the other prostitute with whom he's had a friendly relationship for years, the people he investigates, and even the eventually-identified killer (who came out of left field as far as I was concerned), are fuzzy at best. Block's greatest skill, probably, is in-depth, deeply multi-dimensional characterization. But not this time. I've re-read all the later books in the series and, like all of them, this one is certainly worth a read -- but only once.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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.