Scudder is doing okay. He doesn’t need to take every case that comes his way. His sidekick/friend TJ is bugging him to buy a computer. A friend who believes he is the target of a serial killer who calls himself Will of the People hires Scudder. And he takes on the seemingly random murder of an acquaintance that was already dying of AIDS. There is definitely stuff going on here to keep the reader interested.
I did learn about viatical transactions and was never bored with this tale. However, it would not quite as engaging as most of Block’s novels. Recently Block was on Craig Ferguson plugging Hit and Run. Ferguson asked why there haven’t been any Scudder novels for a few years (three to be exact). Block told him that Scudder was too settled and old. He rather felt that way in this book (though it was published in 1997), but as I said, reading it out of order may have produced that effect on me.