A very gritty and black entry into the series of the former alkie but still unlicensed private eye. In this book, Scudder is hired by a drug dealer to find the sadistic spree killers who kidnapped and butchered his wife. With the help of his street connections, Scudder decides to mete out some more of the rough justice that is becoming his trademark. But lest he become a remorseless killing machine, Block allows Scudder to begin to craft some domestic bliss at the end of this saga. It's a fine read, because Block is always entertaining. A few points distract from the story. One is unfortunate timing; the book is dated, with its labyrinthine plot to get ahold of a phone number that today could be obtained by the police without a second thought, and most civilians who have the technology. Block uses a pair of teenage hackers as the tools for this caper, and it seems like Block's stretching, trying to get into the big "thing" of the early '90s. Clearly Block's not on familiar ground, plot- or dialogue-wise. He should stick to cynical thugs and world-weary cops. The other point is that this book has a lot of black humor of the particularly morbid variety. The Scudder that I'm familiar with wouldn't have made a joke about a woman getting her breast cut off (in A Dance At the Slaughterhouse, his reaction to torture was appropriately grim). Maybe now that Scudder's found love, he's light hearted enough tocrack about torture and mutiliation, but I'm not sure I like it.