A blistering Matt Scudder novel.Matt Scudder is well and truly off the booze, but he still spends time with some of his old drinking pals including Mick Ballou - an Irish American who operates more often than not on the wrong side of the law.Mick is worried - a garage full of bourbon has been ripped off and two of his henchman killed in cold blood. Somebody is muscling in on Micks patch and he wants Scudder to look into it. Matt reluctantly agrees to take a look but won't promise a result. On the way home he is attacked by somebody wants him off Mick's case. The following weekend Matt's mentor from AA is shot dead at point blank range when Scudder is in the men's room of the restaurant where the 2 had met for dinner - Matt knows it should have been him. Now the case is personal and no matter that he's warned off by his ex-colleagues in the NYPD and his wife Elaine, this is one he is going to see out to the end.
Block's Matt Scudder mysteries go from strength to strength, with the doughty ex-cop now off the booze but still spending time with his old drinking buddies. One of them, an Irish-American entrepreneur, involves the reluctant Scudder in a battle with someone muscling in on his patch. As one might expect, Matt is soon up to his neck in some very dirty business. Block remains a past master at the kind of plotting that keeps the reader satisfyingly wrong-footed, and his dialogue crackles with the kind of wit and authenticity that we have come to expect from him. Elmore Leonard may be more highly thought of, but Block is actually the more consistently able writer these days, and this entry is well up to form. (Kirkus UK)