Battling the bottle one day at a time, ex-cop, sometime PI Matthew Scudder finds that next to staying sober, staying alive seems easy. But in the mean streets of New York City it never is. Not for the prostitute who wanted out and got her beautiful self slashed to ribbons. Not for a pimp named Chance who is betting his life that the broken-down detective can find her murderer. And not for Matthew Scudder - just trying to stay alive in a city that knows nothing better than how to die. Winner of the Shamus Award!