Perhaps more than any other author in the field, Lawrence Block has reinvented contemporary noir fiction--instilling the classic private eye novel with new life and literary depth, while retaining its raw power, grit, suspense, and surprise. For his efforts he has received multiple Edgar, Shamus, and Maltese Falcon Awards--wining virtually every honor the genre has to bestow--and has been named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America P.I. Matthew Scudder remains among Block's most memorable and exquisitely developed creations--a flawed and complex protagonist whose stark, unassailable humanity is both his greatest weakness and strength. A new breed of entrepreneurial monster has set up shop in the big city. Ruthless, ingenious murderers, they prey on the loved ones of those who live outside the law--knowing full well that criminals will never run to the police no matter how brutal the threat. So other avenues for justice must be explored--which is where ex-cop-turned-p.i. Matthew Scudder comes in. Scudder has no love for the drug dealers and poison peddlers who now need his help. Nevertheless, he is determined to do whatever it takes to put an elusive pair of thrill-kill extortionists our of business. For they are using the innocent to fuel their terrible enterprise.