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Mass Market Paperback In the Midst of Death Book

ISBN: 0380763621

ISBN13: 9780380763627

In the Midst of Death

(Book #3 in the Matthew Scudder Series)

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Book Overview

Bad cop Jerry Broadfield didn't make any friends on the force when he volunteered to squeal to an ambitious d.a. about police corruption. Now he'saccused of murdering a call girl. Matthew Scudder... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Matt Scudder Solves Another One

Lawrence Block is an excellent writer, and he is at his best with the grim streets of New York and bleak lives of many of its inhabitants. Matt Scudder is an ex-cop who quit the force after one of his shots went astray and killed a little girl. Now, he works as an investigator. In this story, Jerry Broadfield, a police officer, has blown the whistle on his fellow cops. Immediately, a prostitute charges him with extortion. He hires Scudder to investigate, but before Scudder can do much, the prostitute ends up dead in Broadfield's apartment. Scudder suspects a frame up, but proving it is difficult. If not Broadfield, who murdered the prostitute? And why did Broadfield turn against his fellow officers? Block gives us the clues as Scudder unravels the case while fighting a losing battle against becoming an alcoholic. The story moves fairly quickly and should keep your interest to the end.

Scudder Heads Towards Oblivion

In this, the 3rd book in the series, Matt Scudder is asked for help by a New York copy who believes a prostitute is setting him up. Before he can make too many inroads into the case, the prostitute is dead and the policeman is arrested on suspicion of being responsible. Something doesn't ring true to Scudder, particularly when he finds out the cop has been providing information to Internal Affairs, putting him on the out with his fellow officers.This is one of the darker books in the Matt Scudder series with Matt sinking into a growing depression and succumbing to the bottle with increasing regularity. Although sinking heavily into alcoholism in this book, he still manages to hold it all together enough to perform his job admirably well. Scudder is a very interesting character, but he is also defined by the actions that he can't explain, even to himself. A perfect example of this is his habit of tithing. He admits that he is in no way religious, yet every time he is paid, he tithes ten per cent of his earnings to the nearest church. The amusing part is that Scudder can't explain why he does it and reacts to it with head-shaking bemusement.This is a typical hardboiled mystery, sometimes despairingly so, featuring a character who grows more fascinating and enigmatic the more we find out about him.

The series is starting to take off

For for the first time in the Matt Scudder series -- now three books long -- the word "alcoholic" rears its ugly head; it's not uttered by Matt, but suggested by a questioning friend. And Matt is full of denial: he can stop anytime he wants, he doesn't drink that much, it doesn't interfere with his capabilities. But, during the solving of this mystery, Matt's seldom far from his last or next drink, he's already suffering blackouts, and he made several tactical, and possibly deadly, errors because of a brain fogged by burbon and coffee. But in between his repeated toss-backs, we have another tight little mystery: This time his client is a cop on the take who gets too greedy and is set up to appear to have killed a hooker. And we get to meet some original and intriguing characters: like Doug Furhman, a character that would be perfect for the acting talents of the late Elisha Cook, Jr., and Kenny the owner of Sinthia's, a gay Village bar. Elaine, the call girl, is back from the first book with a more substantial role in this tale. And there's the client's wife with whom Matt has fling, thankfully alluded to, not given a full desription by Block. And Matt keeps the affair going by feeding her the lines she wants to hear, or could it be that he is so desperately lonely that he really means them and it is her that is stringing his emotions along? It's a dirty big city, but I'm glad Matt lives there and Lawrence Block takes us along with him on his adventures.

A short but engaging early Scudder novel

Lawrence Block's early Matthew Scudder novels are considerably shorter and less complex than later entries in the series. Scudder was still drinking during this time period and here he makes his first acknowledgement that it might be getting out of control. The plot is intriguing, a dirty cop begins cooperating with an anti-corruption probe and is framed for murder. Scudder must answer two questions who did the frame up and why did the cop suddenly decide to become a rat? "In the Midst of Death" is one of the bleaker entires in the Scudder series both in terms of its outcome and for what happens in Scudder's personal life. It is not an essential entry in the series, but it is a good one.
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