IN THE MIDST OF DEATH by Lawrence Block: Detective Jerry Broadfield knew he was inviting trouble when he volunteered to squeal to an ambitious district attorney. about police corruption. When a prostitute accused him of extortion he decided he had Scudder trouble. When the prostitutes dead body was discovered in his apartment he knew it was Scudder trouble. Can unlicensed private eye Matthew Scudder save Broadfield? And is he as innocent as he claims. Another excellent Lawrence Block.
I read a couple of Block's Matthew Scudder novels about 15 years ago and remember enjoying them a lot. Not sure why it took me so long to read another. One of my motivations was that there is a new movie out of A Walk Among the Tombstones with Liam Neeson playing Scudder. I'm looking forward to seeing it. In the Midst of Death was a great example of a hard-case crime novel in the vain of Mickey Spillane. I really enjoyed it! It told the story of a murdered prostitute who was blackmailing a police officer who was working with police internal affairs about police corruption. Scudder is hired by the police officer when he is framed for the murder of the prostitute. The novel has hard-drinking Scudder, an ex-police officer working as an unlicensed PI, at his best digging into why the prostitute was killed, who was on her list of customers, how some politicians are involved, why the police officer was working with internal affairs, and on and on. Scudder also gets involved with the police officer's wife along the way. Overall, a great throw back to the hard-core detective novel!
Lawrence Block's view of New York in the 70's is fascinating and authentic. His characters, settings and plots broke new ground when they were written and are just as vital today. Matthew Scudder is a wonderfully complex hero. This book looks at the police reaction to the beginning of the end of the culture of corruption that ruled the city in those days.