Block's detective, Matthew Scudder, the former New York City police officer, now tries to discover who killed a call girl and pinned the murder on a policeman who is cooperating with an investigation into corruption. The story is very tight and well written and filled with a cross section of New York City denizens. The person who hired Scudder is blatantly crooked, and Scudder himself was involved with both money and women while on the force. However, as with the other entries in this series, the compelling focus is the detective's battle with alcoholism. As presented in A Stab in the Dark, Scudder's drinking increases; he functions well enough to solve the case, but suffers more and more from the effects of the booze. Reader Alan Sklar does an excellent job; recommended for all audio collections. Stephen L. Hupp, Urbana Univ., OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.