When a heroin kingpin's wife is kidnapped by some bad hombres, he haggles over the ransom and receives her back in pieces, leaving Scudder to track down the killers. By the author of A Dance at the Slaughterhouse. Simultaneous.
Block's prose style is that curt, brisk variety you see in a lot of detective books, and while I enjoy it when it's done right, here it comes off as lazy and half-assed. Like he couldn't be bothered.
You'll find yourself skipping through the pale talk about alcoholics and God. Not because they aren't subjects for discussion, but because Block cannot craft even one realistic line of dialogue.
I would have enjoyed a more detailed look about what is an intriguing idea -- kidnapping from those that can't go to the cops -- but this is clearly a case where an author had an idea and nothing after that.
Overall, this is not the best novel in the Scudder series, but it is still well written and highly satisifying.