The Big Bad City (87th Precinct, #49)
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The Big Bad City (87th Precinct #49)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  562 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Like Elmore Leonard. Ed McBain is a master of the tough and funny urban cop thriller. Still going strong with over 100 million copies of his books in print worldwide. McBain's latest novel is a gritty, wry depiction of life and death in the 87th Precinct.On the cutting edge of city crime more than 40 years in the business. Ed McBain continues his successful 87th Precinct s...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 335 pages
Published May 3rd 1999 by Wheeler Publishing (first published 1998)
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Sunday evening turned a rosy pink and then a deeper blush and then a reddish-lavender-blue and then purple and black, the golden day succumbing at last to night.

It was time to go buy a gun.

Synopsis: Three inter-locking cases in the 87th Precinct: a dead nun, an unhinged stalker and a burglar who bakes chocolate-chip cookies. Go.

In the course of one very long, hot August in the city, the 87th Precinct has to contend with a dead nun with breast implants and a baking burglar whose career gets away...more
Tony Gleeson
The forty-ninth entry in the 87th Precinct series (as I close in on the final entries, 55 in all!) and to me a slight disappointment. But even mediocre Hunter/McBain is still pretty derned good stuff. This one involves the mysterious murder of a nun-- with breast implants yet! (Don't ask, go read the darned thing.) There is also the "Cookie Boy,"a burglar who leaves chocolate chip cookies on the pillow of the homes he robs. I started to get the feeling that McBain was tiring of his usual charact...more
Charles Moore
This is my second 87th Precinct story. It starts out almost as McBain's anti-fluff-mystery opinion piece but ends up with a strange twist of justice. The dialogue is superb. The action is great. The characters are believable.

I'm not a big fan of police procedural but I think, if I wanted to emulate and learn a bit about writing those I'd start with Ed McBain. In a different view of the genre is Michael Donnelly. Both write procedurals but they tell the stories very differently. What I kind of l...more
Chadwick Saxelid
It's August and the city of Isola is cooking in the summertime heat. A semi-sweet burglar is kind enough to leave chocolate chip cookies at his crime scenes and the body of a strangled woman is found in Grover Park. While a great many people are on vacation this August, it's still business as usual for the working detectives of the 87th Precinct.

The Big Bad City is one of the late, great Ed McBain's last 87th Precinct mysteries, and it is a damn good one. As with the forty-eight or so novels tha...more
The Big Bad City - G
Ed McBain
In the opening pages, Steve Carella and Artie Brown return to the department with 9 basketball players (the 10th player was murdered) only to discover a knife fight erupting in a holding cell. It's a steamy August night, and Carella and Detective Parker end up having to shoot one of the fighters to cool things down. Then Meyer and Kling enter the scene; they're hot in pursuit of the Cookie Boy, a thief who leaves chocolate-chip cookies at every crime sight. Before th...more
Steve Carella and the 87th Precinct detectives have to contend with a dead nun with breast implants, a cookie-baking burglar whose career goes upside down during a break-in, and a paranoid sociopath is gunning for Steve. Nobody can figure out who would strange a beloved nun, who worked with the terminally ill, but Steve and Artie dig deeply into her past. And Fat Ollie Weeks investigation of a seemingly random killing ends up saving the day.

Gerald Kinro
Another day in the city. A young woman is found dead in a public park. A serial burglar strikes again and leaves his calling card—some chocolate chip cookies. Then things get interesting. The dead woman turns out to be a nun with breast implants. The cookie burglar, not a violent criminal at the beginning, gets caught up in a dual killing. What’s more, Steve Carella, one of the detectives of the 87th Precinct who is investigating the dead woman’s death is being stalked by the man who shot and ki...more
Steve Carella is close to his 40th birtday. The character is actually 43 at the moment when this novel was written, since he was created in 1956, and this The Big Bad City dates from 1999. McBain could've gotten the idea three years before to make it a proper anniversary book in the 87th Precinct series. With the birthday excuse, Carella recalls some important facts and characters in the series story. It's only a page long at the end of the book but as a fan of the 87th I'm grateful with the hom...more
Sheldon Lehman
Like most McBains, a well-written story. That said, with this series in it's 42nd year (at this book's publication), he is starting to run into problems with scene and character development. And there are inconsistencies with settings. He moves scene placement into the current decade, but doesn't age the characters quite as fast. I'm not saying Carella should be in his 60s, but just to have him turning 40 isn't enough of a progression. Also, he mentions the movie Men in Black, which came out the...more
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The characters weren't flat, the story didn't depend on gore or mental instability, and the personal interactions between family and partners that care for each other was comfortable without being sappy or contrived. I will add this author to my "read more" list.

There was only one place in the book that suffered from the abridgement process but it wasn't hard to extrapolate what the missing info was.

Usually I treat "read by the author" audiobooks like plague (stay...more
Joshua Emil
The story focuses on two cases. The first to appear is a woman found dead in a park blocks away from the precinct. The detectives assigned were Carella and Brown; as they go deeper, they uncover secrets the victim kept (unusual secrets). The second is a string of burglary and robbery perpetrated by The Cookie Boy, who leaves cookies on every crime scene.

Besides from these cases, a stalker is closing in on one of the men of the 87th Precinct.

This is has been one of the best police procedural I...more
Chris Gager
Ed Mcbain=Evan Hunter. Born as Sal Lombino and AKA Hunt Collins, Curt Cannon and Richard Marsten. In the words of the immortal Mr. C., "I did not know that"... This book is much better than the other EM book I read, "Mary, Mary", which was gratuitously nasty and plot-absurd. As is common with this genre one looks for plot holes:
- Sonny is/was the dumbest person on the planet.
- The Cookie Boy? Also pretty stupid. His light bulb FINALLY came on.
- According to Cormac McCarthy alligators make a lowi...more
It's hard to believe that this is the 49th in the series about the 87th Precinct. The officers are like old friends, and it is what happens to the victims and perpetrators which is new. When is a nun not a nun? How bad can a chocolate chip cookie baker be? This volume answers those questions and more. There seems to be a lot of crime in Isola--but then that coud probably be said of most cities. The men in the 87th work together well--and their stories are exciting to read.
A few pages into this book I realized that I'd listened to it on tape a couple of years ago. I started to close the covers, then realized I was enjoying the read, and proceeded to finish it.

So I can encapsulate my review of the book by stating, with authority, that it is good enough to read twice.

Being one of the 87th Precinct novels, if you love one, you'll love the all, and vice versa, but the vice versa would be hard for me to imagine.
This was a pretty good entry in the 87th precinct series. The author used the 3rd person perspective quite nicely to tell the story, jumping between good and bad characters to show the reader where the story was going even while the characters did not. This technique does not
always work well. It did here. The book was a combination mystery and adventure. The gratutitous sex
and violence was kept to a minimum.
First Ed McBain book that I have read and I enjoyed his humor and the way the story unfolded. I didn't feel too lost, having not read any of the previous books in the series, but there was some things that I was missing from the story. Not the greatest mystery, but the characters were well rounded and McBain made me want to know all of them better. Would read more in the series.
I picked up this book at the suggestion of my husband. I love shows like Law and Order and CSI, so he thought I might enjoy this mystery. He was correct. I enjoyed the separate stories and how they entertwine. As mysteries go, it was average. It served its purpose, which was to provide easy entertainment over the holidays.
Harry Lane
Typical gritty police procedural from McBain. This one had three plots going at once, and it seemed to me to have worked a tad less successfully than in some of his other 87th Precinct novels.
I enjoy the 87th Precinct novels. It is like a continuing crime drama, some crimes get solved, some don't characters appear from time to time. This is just as enjoyable as all the others.
My very first McBain novel. Totally dug it. I can see why people who love Parker's books would love this series. Good atmosphere, interesting characters, quick dialogue. Great summer read!
Carolyn Rose
It's always a good police-procedural read when I check in with Steve Carella and the guys of the 87th Precinct and ride along as they solve a couple of cases.
L. Lawson
I've never read a McCain I didn't like, and The Big Bad City is no exception. He's a master of dialogue and moving the story forward.
As usual this book was as good as the rest of the 87th pct series, I read this book many years ago and forgot, but it was a good reread.
Irene B.
McBain is popcorn for the brain. This is one of the better ones. I read them to find out how his characters' lives progress.
Great reading ! Loved it. In his inimitable style, full of humourous bits, like Parker's not understanding the nun jokes :)
Mark Smiley
Ed writes well. His cop stories are precise and concise, a bit of humor and let's us know the thinking of policemen.
ed mcbain is a good story teller. an 87th precinct story. life in the big bad city. an entertaining read.
Back to McBain....starting to really enjoy this more and then to move back to NF.
McBain is good at times, but too much of this reads like a Law and Order episode.
Mike O'connell
Another fast paced 87th Precinct mystery. Recommended for all readers.
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Ed McBain is a pseudonym of Evan Hunter, who was born and raised as Salvatore Lombino in New York City, living in East Harlem until the age of 12, at which point his family moved to the Bronx. He attended Olinville Junior High School, then Evander Childs High School, before winning an Art Students League scholarship. Later, he was admitted as an art student at Cooper Union.

Hunter served in the Nav...more
More about Ed McBain...
Cop Hater (87th Precinct #1) Ice (87th Precinct, #36) The Mugger (87th Precinct #2) Let's Hear It For The Deaf Man (87th Precinct, #27) Lady Killer (87th Precinct #8)

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