“…Matthew Scudder, former cop and private investigator, sits across the table from me at Grogan’s. It’s late and the bar will be closing soon. He doesn’t fidget. He doesn’t look away. To paraphrase Faye Dunaway to Robert Redford, his eyes aren’t kind, but they don’t miss anything.

“The booth in which we sit is tucked away in a dark corner, the seat worn smooth like a favorite leather slipper. These days he drinks sparkling water while I sip an expensive Scotch. I savor my drink, swirl the liquor around my tongue, feeling its warmth all the way down to my toes as I hang on his every word.

“Matthew tells me his stories in a dispassionate voice. It’s not that he doesn’t care, it’s more as if he tossed off illusion long ago, having seen what we are capable of, the best and the worst and the inadvertent. We can’t fool him. He accepts both our action and inaction with grace and forgiveness.

“The memorable moments of Matthew’s life range from the relieved confessions of a guilty conscience to the random nature of good and evil, to dirty cops, and honest working girls, to the fellowship found in drinking alone. He even remembers the nights he can’t remember…”

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