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Killer's Choice (87th Precinct, #5)
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Killer's Choice (87th Precinct #5)

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  1,246 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Someone killed Annie Boone, but was she an innocent victim or the target of a hit? As Detectives Carella and Kling of the 87th precinct pick up the pieces of her interupted life, they move relentlessly closer to some answers yet farther from others. Struggling to find the weak link, the detectives find themselves facing a cold, hard truth they'd prefer not to know.
Paperback, 219 pages
Published 1999 by Allison & Busby (first published 1957)
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Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
Death knocked a man down. Death stole a man's dignity. A dead man didn't care whether or not his hair was parted. A dead girl didn't worry about whether or not her slip was showing. The postures of death managed to simplify a human being to an angular mound of fleshy rubble. And so looking at what had once been a woman - a woman who smiled prettily, and kissed her lover, and adjusted her stockings, and applied lipstick with utmost feminine care - looking at what had once been warm and alive, Car ...more
James Thane
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the book in which Ed McBain adds Cotton Hawes to the cast of detectives who populate the 87th Precinct. As Hawes comes on board, a young woman named Annie Boone is shot and killed while working as a clerk in a liquor store. The store is then totally trashed and the owner seems more concerned about the damage to his stock than the death of his employee.

Annie, a divorced mother of a young daughter, seems to be something of a chameleon. Virtually everyone that the detectives interview has a
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, detective, 2013
Killer's Choice has a couple of notable landmarks which include the last appearance by hard-as-nails cop, Detective Roger Havilland. He's found in the broken remains of a grocery store window after an apparent hold-up, fatally injured by a shard of glass. Steve Carella follows a lead to track down the killer but is joined by the newly transferred Cotton Hawes. Carella soon discovers that Hawes is having trouble adapting from the more genteel surroundings of his previous posting compared to the m ...more
And so I continue with my reading in order of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series. I've barely started. This is the fifth of the books in the series which stretches all the way from the 1950s to 2005 and numbers more than fifty. At this point, I'm still in the 1950s and these early books now qualify as historical mysteries.

I continue to be struck by McBain's crisp, to-the-point, just-the-facts prose and just how much information and atmosphere he's able to convey with only a few choice, spare words
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mcbain
finished this one this morning, 5:27 a.m. if it matters and it doesn't. i really liked it. 4-stars.
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Cotton Hawes is introduced in this solid 87th Precinct novel. He begins as a rather arrogant, self-satisfied screw-up. Enjoy finding out how this happens and if/how he redeems himself.
The book jumps between two unconnected murders. First, Annie Boone was gunned down while working the counter at a liqueur store. The detectives of the Eight-Seven track down and interview many of her friends, relatives, her ex-husband, and her six-year-old daughter. These many shades of Annie: an intellectual, a dunce, a loving wife, a homewrecker, a lush, a fun social-drinker, a polite and proper girlfriend, a loose and adulterous woman. As the investigation drags on, detectives Meyer Meyer and ...more
Gayle Francis Moffet
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gerald Sinstadt
Dec 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
Before The Bill there was Z Cars, and before Z Cars there was Dixon of Dock Green. Across the Atlantic, before The Wire there was the still-missed Hill Street Blues, and before Hill Street Blues there was Ed McBain's 87th Precinct, print rather than pixels but the genealogy was the same.

If it is still something of a shock to discover that Killer's Choice, the fifth in the 87th Precinct series, was first published more than fifty years ago, there are clues. Not least when a young woman is innoce
Dana King
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Amazon had a deal around Christmas time, twenty 87th Precinct novels for some stupid cheap number like 99 cents, so I bought all twenty of them to parcel out over a period of time. Killer’s Choice is from the late Fifties, and introduces Cotton Hawes, whom no one can stand going in. Carella is married, but he and Teddy have no kids. As usual, there is more than one crime to be solved, and, also as usual, there’s no weird twist. Just solid investigations of realistic events by people any of us mi ...more
May 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The young woman named Annie lay in a pool of blood and liquor. Shot in the chest four times and all the stock smashed on top of it, as the cops of the 87th begin investigating it, an odd picture begins to build of the victim.

Divorced, in her early thirties with a daughter, depending on who you spoke with, she was a virtuous woman, a mistress, a drunkard, a teetotaler, smart, dumb, well read and a ballet goer, a pool hustler. Her ex-husband spoke more highly of her than her own mother. The mother
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
PROTAGONIST: The 87th precinct
SETTING: "Isola", NY
WHY: Annie Boone was found murdered on a barroom floor, and it seems that almost every cop in the 87th precinct is involved in the investigation. It seems that everyone they interview paints a different picture of Annie, from saint to sinner, and it's difficult to get a handle on exactly who she was and who may have wanted her dead. I thought the killer was a bit of a stretch, but enjoyed the portrayals of the members of the
Adele Hawley
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An old friend

I read these books when I was in my twenties; and now in my seventies,it is like meeting old friends to revisit the 87th Precinct.I am enjoying the background articles as well.
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-police
Another solid entry in this long series.
Pamela Kaplan
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great 87th precinct .....

McBain and the 87th precinct series always entertain. Fast paced and very interesting, I have never read one I didn't like.
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In this short novel (it can't be much more than 40,000 words), the boys 'n' gals of the grand old eight-seven -- just boys, in fact, back in 1958 when this appeared -- are confronted by two murder cases. In most modern crime novels, these two would eventually prove to be related. McBain's style, though, is to keep them separate, the unification of the narrative coming instead from the overlap of personnel investigating the crimes. In terms of the series' story arc, Killer's Choice is significant ...more
John Marsh
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice police procedural...nothing special...good beach read.
Marilyn Lawrence
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review of: "Killer's Choice"

Good fast read, and a typical Ed McBain style. Needed a little more detail of the killer's arrest, but it didn't detract from the story.
Nov 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy Ed McBain. This story centers around the murder of Annie Boone in the liquor store where she works. What's interesting is that the more that the detectives of the 87th Precinct investigate, the more people she seems to be - the mother, the daughter, the ex-wife, the girlfriend, the pool shark, the ballet lover, etc. The detectives track down leads that go nowhere but finally outsmart the killer, somewhat due to a tip that comes in from a wino. (view spoiler) ...more
Nov 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#5 in the 87th Precinct police procedural series set in fictional Isola (modeled after New York.) Published the year I was born, some people would call this book “dated,” which, admittedly it is. But it’s a wonderful time capsule too, and I have to wonder if McBain deliberately set out to accomplish that, if he had any idea how long-lasting his series would be.

The opening paragraph lets you know you’ve gone back in time as it talks about “eight dollar Scotch and twenty-five-cent wine” bottles b
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Χρονολογικά πρόκειται για την πέμπτη ιστορία στην σειρά για το 87ο Αστυνομικό Τμήμα, απ'όσο βλέπω τον Ιούλιο του '14 διάβασα για τελευταία φορά βιβλίο που ν'ανήκει στην συγκεκριμένη σειρά. Εννοείται πως μου έλειψαν οι χαρακτήρες, η πόλη, η ατμόσφαιρα, οι ρεαλιστικοί διάλογοι, το χιούμορ και όλα τα καλούδια που περιέχουν οι ιστορίες του Μακμπέιν.

Μια όμορφη κοκκινομάλλα, η Άννι Μπουν, βρέθηκε σκοτωμένη στο ποτοπωλείο όπου δούλευε, πεσμένη στο πάτωμα ανάμεσα σε σπασμένα μπουκάλια και χυμένο αλκοόλ
It's been quite a while since I read any of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct books. This one, Killer's Choice, is #5. All of the ones I had previously read were much later in the series, numbering in the #30's and #40's. In this book, you can see that Ed is still developing his famous writing style. Additionally, he is still bringing together the detectives who make up the 87th squad. In this book, he introduces Cotton Hawes, and kills off Roger Havilland, whose murder must be solved by the squad(on th ...more
S. Wilson
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Carella and Kling team up to track down the killer of a woman that becomes more of a mystery than her death. Carella and Kling make an interesting pair, as Kling's young and almost naive rookie appearance clashes with yet compliments Carella's experience and certainty. This is the first real Rashomon-style story in the 87th series, a theme that McBain will return to again and again to effectively illustrate the difficulty in discovering the truth when it's very definition is more than subjective ...more
Colin Mitchell
A new hero is introduced in the form of Cotton Hawes. He gets on some backs and nearly has Steve Carella shot but comes up with Havilland's killer. Meanwhile, others are working on the killing of a young female in a liquor store where she works.An easy read in two evenings. Fast paced as ever but does come to an abrupt ending.
Sep 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
KILLER’S CHOICE (Police Procedural) – VG
Ed McBain – 6th in series
The Armchair Detective Library, 1991 (Reprint from 1958) – Hardcover
The detectives of the 87th precinct are looking for the killer of one of their own, have gained a new member of the squad, Cotton Hawes, and looking for the person who murdered a young woman.
*** This edition is particularly enjoyable as it includes an introduction by the author talking about introducing Hawes to the series. Reading the 87th precinct books is always
In book 5 of the 87th Precinct stories we see some personnel changes in the detective squad. This book was originally published in 1957 but the authors new forward (from 1991) explains that these changes were at the publishers request.

Similar format to the others in that there is more than one case occurring within the pages of this short novel. Pulp era detective genre at it's best here. Good old fashioned police work before the time of political correctness or extensive forensic techniques.

I p
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The year was 1957. Life was simpler then. Divorce was almost unheard of. Murder still took place. There was nothing high-tech in that era. It took a lot of legwork to solve a case. No cellphones.

Everyone has a solid alibi in the killing of Annie Boone or so it seems. Her many friends and loved ones have contradictory opinions of her. She was many people to many people. Someone wanted her dead. Several had a motive.

Good solid sleuthing until you get to the end when the murder seemed to be solve
Christine Blachford
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Another edition in the 87th Precinct series and this time we've got a murder taking place with several suspects but no clear evidence to support any of their cases. They all have alibis but one of them must have done it! There's also the death of one of the squad members to deal with, with surprisingly little of the private lives of the officers in the story this time.

I'm still really enjoying these books though, they're such short and simple reads, a quick dip into the grimy but ultimately wort
Tom Stamper
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
A young beautiful woman leading so many lives is murdered in a liquor store and it's up to Meyer, Kling, and Carrera to find the killer. The parallel plot involves the surprising murder of another detective. This time we learn more about Meyer's life and family story having been filled up with Kling and Carrera in earlier books. There is a homage of sorts to Egdar Allan Poe's Purloined Letter, both in the evidence of a letter and a killer in front of their noses.

Again, I'm surprised at how fran
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"Ed McBain" is one of the pen names of American author and screenwriter Salvatore Albert Lombino (1926 – 2005), who 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 also used the pen names John Abbott, Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, Ezra Hannon, Dean Hu
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 (87th Precinct, #3)
  • The Con Man (87th Precinct, #4)
  • Killer's Payoff (87th Precinct, #6)
  • Killer's Wedge (87th Precinct, #7)
  • Lady Killer (87th Precinct, #8)
  • 'Til Death (87th Precinct, #9)
  • King's Ransom (87th Precinct, #10)
  • Give the Boys a Great Big Hand (87th Precinct, #11)

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“They were running out of suspects and into dead ends. They were running into airtight alibis and out of patience. They were running up one-way alleys and phone bills. They were running down a killer who did not yet exist. They were running around in circles.” 0 likes
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