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Hail To The Chief (87th Precinct, #28)
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Hail To The Chief (87th Precinct #28)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  578 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Detectives Steve Carella and Burt Kling set out to end the racial warfare that caused the deaths of six teenagers.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 1st 1975 by Macmillan Education Australia (first published January 28th 1973)
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(showing 1-30 of 943)
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James Thane
Of the twenty-eight novels in the 87th Precinct series thus far, this one, for me, is the least successful of all.

The story opens on a bitterly cold winter night when six naked bodies are found thrown into a trench. The detectives of the 87th must first identify the victims and then figure out who killed them and why.

It turns out that the deceased are victims of a gang war being fought by the three principal gangs that dominate the city, one black, one Hispanic, and one white. The point of view
Jan 18, 2015 Paul rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think it could happen. A less than stellar 87th Precinct novel.

This one is pretty stale, probably due to the author's prodigious novel count in the 70's. McBain's high point came in the 80's with great novels like Ice, Lightning, Poison and Tricks.

The 70's lingo and some poor name choices threw me out of the novel too. Terms like fuzz, bread, cliques, and iced sound much too antiquated now. Unimaginative nicknames like Mighty Man (really?), The Bullet, Jo-Jo and Big are indications that
Jul 13, 2015 Jure rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's no mystery and it is a good example of content being sacrificed to the form. Our detectives' investigation runs in parallel with the reading of the gang leader's confession statement in flashbacks after he had been arrested. So the whole narration comes down to something like this: guy explaining what had happened and then Ed McBain describing how our heroes concluded that same thing using the police procedures.

It's an interesting concept but it quickly wears off and becomes more and mo
Jan 26, 2013 Skip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
Six naked bodies, on of whom is an infant, are dumped in a ditch with no identification. Fortunately for the 87th Street Precinct, one of the girls of a gang member is horrified over the accidental killing of a baby tips the police to the fact that this was gang-related. This book oscillates between the police work and the gang leader justifying his actions of the killing and aftermath.
So, I really don't know what to say about this one. I mean, you have to applaud McBain for continuously varying his narrative approach from book-to-book. In this case, we had parallel narratives that, while draining the story of any sort of mystery, added the criminal's perspective to the procedural mix. So, again, while I applaud McBain for his ability to experiment with his method of storytelling, I felt like this one lacked the suspense that I normally associate with the 87th Precinct novels. ...more
Desiree Zamorano
Jan 16, 2014 Desiree Zamorano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Ed McBain and snap up his titles when Amazon promotes discounts for Kindle.
This book, as you may gather from the title, is a send up of positions of authority, in this instance, a president of a club (read gang). Perhaps other 87th Precinct tales have this not to subtle subtext, but this was clearly an attack on Nixon's war policies. Fascinating!

Oh, we have black thug on the cover. Who's the actual thug in the novel?
A WHITE GUY. I hate this cover--it has not
Apr 03, 2012 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series, police
I liked this story quite a lot - written quite differently from most of the books in this series. The story was told using the third person narrative, alternating with a prolonged confession of the mastermind of a multiracial gangland killing of six people - the leader of the black gang and his wife, along with the leader of the Latino gang and his wife - those were deliberate - in order to bring about peace between the gangs. Which, I know, makes no sense. Also killed were the baby of the black ...more
evette w
Dec 26, 2015 evette w rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Reading

This was good police action done right from beginning to end.This was also a well thought out story with a very good plot.I like the fact that the story is told so that while reading it you are getting such an excellent visual.This was really good entertainment.
Sep 13, 2015 Gizzard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Short, another book that veers slightly from his formula. The mystery is interspersed with the confession. Might have been a little to sympathetic to the bad guy.
Apr 28, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great tale by Ed McBain. Very interesting POVs. Fast and fun read.
Jul 18, 2014 Hamlen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The 87th precinct never gets old.
Steve Gozdecki
One of if not *the* worst of the 87th Precinct novels. There's no real mystery to it, the alternating narration between the third-person POV and a gang leader is just doesn't work. Failed experiment.
Jan 17, 2009 Shirley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Loved the first in this series so hoping for another good one. And I was not disappointed. Great story and some good recipes as well--always a great combination. Information about the workings of the White House especially appropriate right at this time.
Jan 24, 2010 Karl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been rereading the 87th precinct books; hadn't read this one in a long time, and was pleasantly surprised. The form was pretty experimental for McBain, along with the usual sharp police mystery.
Aileen Bernadette Urquhart
Aug 20, 2014 Aileen Bernadette Urquhart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
One of his better books. Story told from cops' POV intertwined with criminal's POV which worked really well. But I'm getting a bit fed up of 'the male gaze'. (Read it in a day)
LInda L
Interesting story of the 87th precinct -- features Kling and Carella. And Meyer. MOstly about gangs, called "cliques" in this book.
Michael Moats
Oct 21, 2013 Michael Moats rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
good quick read. like mcbain's writing style. it's concise and direct. feels more life like than most writers in this genre.
Feb 10, 2010 Rose added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
The head gangster, Randy, reminded me so much of David Brent from The Office. This cracked me up the whole book through.
Mike O'connell
May 15, 2010 Mike O'connell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still another fast moving 87th Precinct novel. This oner tells the story of big city street gangs.
Sep 30, 2013 Joan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
McBain is usually better than this. Slow, awkward, uninteresting...
Doug Haskin
Jun 07, 2012 Doug Haskin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic 87th Precinct, but with a different point of view!
Dec 02, 2009 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typical Ed McBain. I really like his 87th precinct series.
Simon Parsons
Gritty cop thriller - very good.
Tamu added it
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dan murphy
dan murphy rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2016
Sue marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2016
bob hamilton
bob hamilton rated it really liked it
Jun 22, 2016
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Excerpted from

"Ed McBain" (October 15, 1926 – July 6, 2005) is one of the pen names of an American author and screenwriter. Born Salvatore Albert Lombino, he legally adopted the name Evan Hunter in 1952. While successful and well known as Evan Hunter, he was even better known as Ed McBain, a name he used for most of his crime fiction, beginning in 1956. He a
More about Ed McBain...

Other Books in the Series

87th Precinct (1 - 10 of 55 books)
  • Cop Hater (87th Precinct #1)
  • The Mugger (87th Precinct #2)
  • The Pusher
  • The Con Man (87th Precinct, #4)
  • Killer's Choice (87th Precinct, #5)
  • Killer's Payoff (87th Precinct #6)
  • Killer's Wedge
  • Lady Killer (87th Precinct #8)
  • 'Til Death (87th Precinct, #9)
  • King's Ransom (87th Precinct #10)

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