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A stab in the dark : a novel by Lawrence…

A stab in the dark : a novel (original 1981; edition 1981)

by Lawrence Block

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4411334,864 (3.91)10
Title:A stab in the dark : a novel
Authors:Lawrence Block
Info:New York : Arbor House, c1981.
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:Crime fiction

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A Stab in the Dark by Lawrence Block (1981)



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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
In the fourth Matthew Scudder novel, Scudder, an ex cop, who resigned after a shooting went bad -as in a 7 year old bystander got killed- lost the itch to work the beat, the itch to be a husband, the itch to be a father and turned to the bars in lower Manhattan. He doesn't have a PI license, but he has the best instincts around and he does favors for friends and friends of friends. Nine years earlier, the icepick killer had knocked off seemingly eight women with icepicks in the eyes. Recently, he was caught and confessed to 7 of 8 murders, and, although certifiably crazy, not to Barbara Eddinger's killing. The father wants Scudder to poke around and see if he can figure it out. Did someone else do it? Was it someone Barbara knew?

Scudder is a plodding bloodhound of a detective and he doggedly asks questions, hoping something will turn up and fall into his lap. Little by little, the clues come together and something points him in the direction of what really happened. If you like mysteries, this is a good one. Its not as dark and despairing as other Scudder novels. He has yet to admit that he has an alcohol problem, although he can't always remember how he got home.

It is another dark, gritty terrific novel. If you have read early Block, you will see how all the stuff he tried before comes together in the Scudder novels. There doesn't seem to be a clunker in the bunch. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
Matthew is asked by the father of a woman murdered 9 years ago, to look into the case. Originally thought to be a victim of the Ice Pick Prowler, new evidence proves that she was the lone victim who couldn't have been killed by the serial killer.

As Scudder sifts through the clues and questions the people closest to the case, he continues to fight a losing battle with his demons. He's a complicated guy and his descent to rock bottom is what makes these books so much more than a simple procedural. That, along with the excellent writing and plotting, is why I enjoy them so much and look forward to the rest of the series.

( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
This is another installment in the Matthew Scudder series. I'm liking Matthew more and more as I read the series. Lawrence Block has spent a lot of time making him into a human ex-cop. He makes mistakes, yet he's still heroic in a way. I also liked the plotline. The killer was lurking on the outskirts, but you could find him if you paid careful attention. This was probably my favorite installment so far. ( )
  jguidry | May 31, 2016 |
Solid mathew scudder mystery with a clever plot. ( )
  pnorman4345 | Jun 19, 2014 |
This is by far, my favorite of the Scudder books at this point. Once again, I am presented with the 5 star problem. With the other 3 getting the same rating, how do I differentiate between the installments? I don't have an answer for that. Stop making me feel bad!

I really wanted to open this review with the line, "My favorite part was when Scudder drinks coffee with bourbon" (get it? 'cause that's like 90% of the novel) but I thought better of it. Scudder's boozing is totally out of control in A Stab In The Dark. He recognizes that he has a problem but he's under the impression that he can stop at any point. It appears that he's in denial but I guess I'll find that out shortly as it looks like it's starting to replace water as his main source of hydration - someone can only do that for so long.

Considering that Scudder is given a case that's 9 years old with the victim being "buried so goddamn deep", Block shows the true range of Scudder's talent. Block has true writing chops. The fact that he can have Scudder solve a crime of that age under those circumstances AND make it seem plausible is pretty damn impressive.

About halfway through, I thought I had it all figured out but once again, Block turned the tables and shocked me. Don't even get me started on another big reveal at the end which I also didn't clue in on (but I'd be shocked to know of anyone who did).

Once again, I'll finish with how excited I am to continue this series. Picked up 8 Million Ways to Die last night and started it right away. I'll be a very sad Brandon when I finish this series. ( )
  branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380715740, Mass Market Paperback)

Louis Pinell, the recently apprehended "Icepick Prowler," freely admits to having slain seven young women nine years ago -- but be swears it was a copycat who killed Barbara Ettinger Matthew Scudder believes him. But the trail to Ettinger's true murderer is twisted, dark and dangerous...and even colder than the almost decade-old corpse the p.i. is determined to avenge.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:59 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Nine long years have passed since the killer last struck, nine long years since eight helpless young women were hideously slaughtered by an icepick-weilding fiend. But now ex-cop Matthew Scudder has been hired to finally bring victim Barbara Ettinger's slayer to jusitce.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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