This was less of a Matt Scudder mystery and more of a Matt Scudder thriller! James Leo Motley plays the first truly aggressive adversary he's ever faced, almost like an insane arch-nemeses in a way. This guy really hates Scudder, to the point where he wants to kill him and everyone he cares about. Talk about a grudge!
The whole thing dates back to a situation where Motley had been harassing Scudder's on again-off again call-girl/girlfriend, Elaine, a few years back. The only way that Scudder could stop the endless torture was to frame him, putting him in jail for the foreseeable future. When Motley finally found his way out of the big house, he decided to exact this revenge against the one who took him off the street.
Within these pages, Block stretches Scudder to the limit. Nearly pushing him back into the world of alcohol, Scudder instead turns to the newest recurring character, Mick Ballou. While Block begins to build what is due to become a satisfying relationship, Ballou gives Scudder the guidance he needs. I'm growing very fond of ol' Mick and I can't wait to read more about him.
A Ticket to the Boneyard is the best book since 8 Million Ways to Die and shows that this series is in no way showing signs of fatigue.