Matt Scudder is a former cop and an unlicensed private investigator. Sometimes he does favors for people, and they give him money as a favor in return. This time he’s hired by a cop who’s accused of extortion; can Scudder convince the accuser to retract?
Of course things get complicated and there’s a murder. The cop claims he’s been framed by other cops, and Scudder is the only one who can help.
This is early in the series, when Scudder was still drinking heavily. It was much later that he joined a 12 step program and struggled to keep his life together. I’m not sure which version I prefer.
The weird thing is that, while I enjoyed the book–the tone, the characters, the plot–I’d completely forgotten I’d read it before. Read it and didn’t remember it at all, except for one sentence. I rarely reread deliberately, and this isn’t a book I would have tackled again if I’d recognized that utterly generic title.