Friday, October 30, 2015

Catching Up: A DANCE AT THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE by Lawrence Block

A Dance at the Slaughterhouse (Matthew Scudder #9)From the back of the book
The police can’t prove that socialite Richard Thurman arranged the rape, torture and murder of his beautiful, pregnant wife. The dead woman’s brother thinks Matt Scudder can.
During his ongoing battle with the bottle, ex-cop, ex-boozer Scudder left a little bit of his soul on every seedy corner of the Big Apple. But this case will drag him deeper into the mire than he’s ever been before – launching him on a lethal tour of New York’s ‘snuff’ film, sex-for-sale underworld…where an innocent young life is a commodity to be bought, perverted and ultimately destroyed.

My review
The world is an unforgiving place and for Matt Scudder, it's the very bottom of humanities pecking order that helps him ply his trade. Wallowing in the pits of despair, reformed alcoholic and ex-cop Scudder gets knee deep in the criminal underworld of exploration, false promises, and broken dreams as he tries to solve a rape and murder of which the key suspect is the victim's husband. The case leads him down a dark rabbit hole that shines a light on the snuff film trade.  

Lawrence Block doesn't deviate from the dastardly nature of the disturbed mind, coupling rape and murder, snuff films and corruption into a noir soaked story that is nothing short of addictive.

Despite being a private eye book at it's core, A DANCE AT THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE does read as a traditional police procedural, such is the Q&A platform. The dark nature of the plot instills a truer sense of noir which differentiates it from the sub crime genre.

A DANCE AT THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE reads well as a standalone (I read the first 3 series books some time ago, this being book 9) and is new reader friendly, something I look for when wanting to give a series a try. 

I highly recommend picking this one up, irrespective if you're familiar with the character.  

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