Lawrence Block has quickly become one of my top favorite hard-boiled/noir writers. To date I've read 11 of his books including a couple as short stories.
As you may have noticed, I've already claimed to love the pimp, Chance, in this story. Can't help myself; the guy is a real cool dude, not your stereotypical pimp. He doesn't drive flashy cars, wear flashy clothes, hang out at pubs, taverns and the such. And, he's good to his girls. He is none of those things we generally think of when we think of pimps.
Matt Scudder is, as we know, an alcoholic and has been since book number one in the series. So no spoiler there. Well, Matt continues to fight his demons while at the same time, trying to find the murderer of one of Chance's 'girls.'
This is the best Scudder I've read and they've all been great. I think I've given them all four stars, maybe one other five. (After reading this, I want to change that five star to a four star, this was sooo very good; such an excellent read.)
This is, by the way, number five in the Matt Scudder series. Matt (we're now on a first name basis) is not a licensed P.I. but does favors for friends (or friends of friends) and gets paid for his service. He tithes (10%) all his income, which is quite interesting and sends checks to his wife and two boys. He acknowledges he should send more money more frequently than he does.
This storyline was one of the best mystery storylines that I've read in years. And I cannot express how much I enjoyed reading this book. I was mad when I had something to do and I had to put it down. And couldn't wait to pick it back up when I finished with my chore.
This book just pushes me to pick up the next one and I've got a list of books to read which is a mile long. But I cannot wait until #6 in the series rolls around and it will soon.
After this, I'm no longer messing around with these so-so, not worth my time books; these sissified reads. I'm just putting them down.
Like someone said, "life's too short to read a lousy book." I'm sure that I said something like that but with stronger language.
The stonger language is due of course, to my reading the hard-boiled, noir genre. I can put blame on something else, it's not ME
. Passing the blame? I learned that from Matt...all the reasons in the world to have a drink, blaming something else. I came up with a lot, I mean a lot of reasons to not do a chore and instead read Eight Million Ways to Die.
A lot, believe me, of reasons. Every one was worth it.