Everything you need to understand or teach Eight Million Ways to Die by Lawrence Block.
A central theme in the Matt Scudder series is the alienation from the venal society around him of the good man.
Scudder is a man living on the edge, who has resigned from conventional roles of supporting himself with a steady job in an organization and of sustaining a marriage and family. He is a loner, making what peace he can with the world around him, and doing his detective work as an unofficial favor to a friend. Money from each friend in question allows him to survive day to day, precariously. Scudder also has a sense of craftsmanship or professionalism: He is a detective because that is what he does best, working not just for the money.
Another important theme implicit in Eight Million Ways to Die is that people can change, in small or large ways, despite seemingly overwhelming odds against their attaining a better life...