Lawrence Block's amazing Matthew Scudder series maintains a very high level of quality considering the number of novels. "A Walk Among the Tombstones," follows "A Dance at the Slaughterhouse," which was one of the best novels in the series. "Tombstones" is not quite as good, largely due to an ending that is not as satisfying, but it is hardly a dud. In "Tombstones," a drug dealer whose wife was kidnapped and hideously murdered hires Scudder to track down the perpetrators. Scudder quickly discovers that the deed was the work of a team of serial killers who have decided to turn their "fun" into profit. Like most novels in the Scudder series, this one is dark and obssessed with death. It seems that even as the alcoholic Scudder gets more of a firm handle on his sobriety and his life, his cases get uglier. Recurring characters in this novel are the street kid T.J., the police detective Joe Durkin, the eccentric informant Danny Boy Bell and call girl Elaine Mardell, who has become the love of Scudder's life. In fact, "Tombstone" features a key moment in Scudder's developing relationship with Elaine.
Overall, this is not the best novel in the Scudder series, but it is still well written and highly satisifying.