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Publisher's Summary

Nine long years have passed since the killer last struck - nine years since eight helpless young women were brutally slaughtered by an icepick-wielding maniac. The trail grew cold and the book was unofficially closed on a serial killer who stopped killing. But now "The Icepick Prowler" has confessed - but only to seven of the killings. Not only does he deny the eighth, he has an airtight alibi. Barbara Ettinger's family had almost come to accept that the young woman was the victim of a random killing. Now they must grapple with the shocking revelation that not only was her death disguised to look like the serial killer's work, but her murderer may have been someone she knew and trusted. Matthew Scudder has been hired to finally bring her slayer to justice, setting the relentless detective on the trail of a death almost a decade old, searching for a vicious murderer who's either long gone, long dead... or patiently waiting to kill again.

©1981 Lawrence Block. All rights reserved. (P)2011 AudioGo

What listeners say about A Stab in the Dark

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Letdown

Compared to the first three Scudder books this one is a letdown. Plus the narrator is a step back from Alan Sklar who did the first three.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Scudder's alcoholism is becoming an issue

If you could sum up A Stab in the Dark in three words, what would they be?

Scudder is unraveling.

Would you listen to another book narrated by William Roberts?

While not an awful narrator, I actually preferred the previous narrator in the series. This one had a taste for the cliche when picking his voices. Even Scudder's inner voice had a little New York cab driver in it.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This one made me feel the depressive pull of falling in the bottle. It did a very good job of capturing the state of denial alcoholics find themselves in. Scudder keeps finding new ways to explain his drunken actions.

Any additional comments?

If you want to know when the writing takes a notch up, this would be it. Scudder has become a fully complex character. You may even grow to dislike him at points during this one. That is not a bad thing. A truly heroic character needs flaws front, center, and hidden.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

All about the people

The plot was incidental to relationships and alcoholism. Not what I would call thriller/suspense

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A stab in the dark

Oh how I love an old fashioned murder mystery ! this mystery had the hard core ex cop detective and all kinds of suspects to be interviewed.

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The F word

I didn’t want to listen to hours of the F word. I wouldn’t put down a book because of a curse word occasionally, but, to use the F word over and over adds nothing to the story. Profanity is the last resort of the uneducated.

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  • DF
  • 08-04-21

Great Story

Very interesting "Who Dunnit" and a worthwhile read. I've posted other reviews about earlier 'Matt Scudder' books by Lawrence Block and you can jump back to review my take on a 1940s style detective set in the 1970s. Scudder is definitely an interesting character.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, this narration was taken from a CD set, and I even heard end of disc 4 as part of the narration, and my chief complaint is that the chapters on the CD OR IN the book do not align with the chapters in audible, so if you lose your place, you have to go back and search for your spot. I got this for free, so I shouldn't complain, but had I purchased this I'd be returning it.

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narration

i prefer Skylars narration. i couldn't get used to the new accent . otherwise great

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How Scudder made the change in his life

Having listened to the stories about the drinker Scudder and some of the stories after he implemented his life style upgrade, I was curious about what lead to the start of the change. This satisfied my curiosity plus had a very interesting investigation. My preference has been the stories of the non-drinking Scudder

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Icepick Murders

What makes this series so good are tiny clues sprinkled throughout the story. Some have to do with New York locations and others with things unsaid but implied. Scudder is ask to solve one of the icepick murders that didn't fit the pattern that happened nine years ago. A lot of interesting characters, all with something to hide.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

great detective story

the performance of this book was disappointing. the narrator had a high tinny voice that fluctuated without purpose . this book has great characters, great dialogue, and good scenes. the main character's inner dialogue is casually profound but matter of fact and honest about his character flaws.