Tuesday 26 February 2013



Small-time stoolie, Jake " The Spinner" Jablon, made a lot of new enemies when he switched careers, from informer to blackmailer. And the more "clients", he figured, the more money -- and more people eager to see him dead. So no one is surprised when the pigeon is found floating in the East River with his skull bashed in. And what's worse, no one cares -- except Matthew Scudder. The ex-cop-turned-private-eye is no conscientious avenging angel. But he's willing to risk his own life and limb to confront Spinner's most murderously aggressive marks. A job's a job after all -- and Scudder's been paid to find a killer -- by the victim...in advance.

My second encounter with Matthew Scudder after reading Block’s first in this series last month. I’m unsure whether this is actually the second Scudder book or the third, it seems to vary depending where you view the chronology of the series, but as I’m planning on reading the last instalment in my omnibus edition in March it’s probably not going to make too much of a difference, or at least not enough to set my OCD alarm bells ringing.

Short and sweet at about 130-odd pages long, Block reveals slightly more of Scudder’s personal code of morality and justice. Justice doesn’t always need to be meted out from the authorities; Scudder’s happy enough to impose his own verdict and punishment on the guilty. He has his own failings and makes misjudgements which have unintended consequences from which others can’t recover. Flawed but intriguing, Block’s Scudder is definitely a series that even at this early stage is growing on me.

4 from 5   

My omnibus edition was purchased second hand from Oxfam many moons ago.

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