A Dance at the Slaughterhouse Paperback – May 12 1994
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Matt Scudder, the recovering alcoholic private eye from The Devil Knows You're Dead and A Ticket to the Boneyard, embarks on another descent into the nightmarish quarters of New York, this time to investigate the sex-for-sale industry. Hired by the brother of an heiress to investigate her rape and murder, Scudder tails her husband to a boxing match and notices another man whom he saw on video a few months earlier on a different case involving a snuff film. As Scudder calls on old friends for assistance and tours New York's dark physical and social landscapes, Block masterfully builds the pressure that leads Scudder to the violent resolution in this winner of the 1992 Edgar Award for best mystery novel. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Block masterfully builds the pressure in this Edgar Award winner, as newly sober Manhattan PI Matt Scudder investigates the death of a TV producer's wife.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I believe that Dance at the Slaughterhouse is the most powerful and interesting of all of Block's work (with perhaps the exception of a few of the short stories). However, i should add that Dance is certainly not a book to everyone's tastes. It's quite intense.
One aspect of Block's career that i appreciate is the diversity of his talents. The Burglar mysteries and the Tanner mysteries in particular are entertaining in the extreme. The Burglar books fascinate me because of their literary references; the Tanner books because of their political insights. But the Scudder books fascinate me because of their insights about the character of human beings. Consequently, they are often a bit more emotinoally taxing on the reader.
In Dance, Block plumbs the depths to get at some of the complicated relationships between human desire and drives towards violence toward the self as well as against others (and, not incidentally, also to get at the complicated structure that involves the tensions between love and violence as contrary expressions of desire). There's a hard-edge to this work as a consequence.
So while i highly recommend this book, i do so with the qualification that some of Block's other works might be more suitable to some readers (and even most of the other Scudder mysteries are less challenging).
Block's Scudder series is almost unique among P.I. fiction in that it is able to maintain its edge even as its hero goes through significant life changes. His continuing battle with the bottle provides an added tension that stays in the background like a predator ready to pounce. Overall, this is one of the best Scudder novels and a must read for P.I. fiction fans.
Most recent customer reviews
I'd never heard of Lawrence Block until I read one of his short stories, "The Merciful Angel of Death" in THE NEW MYSTERY anthology, edited by Jerome Charyn. Read morePublished on June 11 2002 by Dave Schwinghammer
I started reading Lawrence Block a few years ago and I have grown to really appreciate his Matthew Scudder books. Read morePublished on Aug. 20 2001 by Joseph A. Hines