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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,550 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
Hours before he is due to set off on a long-delayed and much-deserved vacation with his wife and son, Det.-Sgt. Malcolm Ainslie takes a phone call he would have been better off ignoring. The caller is the chaplain at Florida State Prison, delivering a message from Elroy Doil, the serial murderer Ainslie helped put on the prison's death row. On the eve of his execution, Doi ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published July 1st 1997 by Random House Value Publishing (first published June 7th 1979)
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Himadri Abdul Am at 49% and only now the action seems to build up ..He has finally finished his car-trip, met prisoner and ... But can't say if the action would…moreAm at 49% and only now the action seems to build up ..He has finally finished his car-trip, met prisoner and ... But can't say if the action would sustain. This after I have slept through the book number of times.. ..too many characters, too many stories/situation and too many detailing of the character/situation.

Am bored utterly, have skipped many pages but then I want to finish it because I started and this has some good review on good-read. Why, I wonder?(less)

Community Reviews

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Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Years and years ago, I read Hailey's Airport and then Hotel and then Wheels and then I forgot about him. His special insight into the industry of his focus is now turned to the business of homicide. And he does an excellent job. Elroy Doil is hours away from the electric chair. He was convicted of one double murder and suspected of many others. He has requested to talk to Detective Malcolm Ainslie before he dies. The book covers the past and the present of this horrible killing spree. The only d ...more
Feb 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once upon a time, I bought a bunch of books on eBay. They promised to send me a box filled with many different titles, and so they did. One of those titles was Detective by Arthur Hailey.

This is the story of a police detective named Malcolm Ainslie who lives and works in Florida. It follows - roughly - the investigation that is launched when a death row inmate confesses to actually having committed a lot more murders. The police had long suspected this, but they hadn't actually been able to hang
Samyuktha jayaprakash
starts very promisingly. the in depth analysis characteristic of a Hailey book , makes you feel like you're reading a non fiction. but the book is too predictable . initially it offers joy as a procedural. But when you have a pretty straightforward story to tell you run with it and finish on a high . but Hailey decides thrown in another mini case and give us so much time to think that the book is not fun any more. Jensen's character was very annoying . pj murdering his ex and her bf I see what y ...more
Feb 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
What a disappointment. I had read all his other books in years past and thought all were great.... Saw this one on the library shelf and brought it home to read. Hailey seems to wonder around in this book telling multiple stories that don't hold together well. He rants at the Catholic church unconvincingly, in the middle of this book --- breaking the story up badly. One day I should read one of his others-again----Moneychangers or The Evening News so I don't finish his novels on this bad note.
Rahul Pinnamaneni
Jun 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book that you'd call "unputdownable". Fast-paced, wasting the least of tree pulp in describing a dog's ponytail or the sullen expression on the Gibbon's face in a zoo, the author takes you on a ride, letting you know more about Crime Scene Investigation(CSI) than any other author before. The author takes you high as the story unfurls, never letting you down or consider your time a waste. Crime, Duty, Law, Lust and Loneliness intertwine at various degrees in various stages of ...more
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent novel, Arthur Hailey is a brilliant author, this is the only book of his that I read, but I intend to read more of his books if I see any that hold my interest, I thought this was a great cop story with great mystery and suspense. I picked this book up at a store that sells used books and I bought it and read in the summer of 2011, and it was probably the best book I read that Summer.
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
the best detective novel i have ever it for thrilling experience.....
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This isn't a whodunit, but yet draws in the reader with masterful storytelling.

The story takes it's time, and for someone like me, who prefers breakneck speed, it is a testament to Mr. Hailey's art, that I kept at it, allowing it to grow around me, get immersed in the characters, their pasts, the details (like the 'rectangular' conference table, wingnuts in the electrocution chamber), the moral complexities. Mr Hailey has done a super job of researching the police department right down to its s
Jon Guenther
A really decent novel if not suffering a bit from "bloat" in some areas. No doubt, however, why Arthur Hailey was undisputed as one of America's best novelists in his day. This is a big, tough, entertaining story with plenty of twists and turns, plus a very good mystery at the heart of it. I enjoyed the book start to finish.
Karen greer
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book years ago when it first came out but decided to reread it when it was offered to me this week. I enjoyed it just as much the second time as the first. Great story. Great author. Winning combination.
Prashanth Kanichar
simple story.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Page turner, edgy, nail biting, engrossing is how I would describe this one! The pace at which the story progresses is perfect. Unraveling of multiple layers is extremely chilling. It also gives insights about the department and the various laws and procedures.
The only spoiler for me was the way Cynthia Ernst died. She died in a jiffy without much drama especially after a huge hype which was created around her crimes. It could have been more dramatic or complex.

Absolutely readable. In fact a mus
Marilyn Lawrence
Review of: "Detective"

An excellently written, most interesting, fast read. I urge and recommend all police/mystery lovers to read this book. I did and loved it.
Cheewai Lai
Mar 09, 2017 added it
Shelves: superb
Hailey has proven himself a consummate writer once again.
Neil Spark
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We know who done it early in this novel but the taut suspense lasts until the end. It’s a testament to Arthur Hailey’s story-telling skill.
Hours before his execution, Elroy Doil demands to see the policeman who arrested him. Detective sergeant Malcolm Ainslie is a former priest about to go on a family holiday. But he goes to Doil, suspected of killing 14 people and convicted for four.
Doil confesses to all the murders – except one, the parents of Cynthia Ernst, Ainslie’s boss. Ainslie is having
Barbara Radisavljevic
As usual, Hailey takes the reader behind the scenes in a given occupation. In this book we see the inner workings of the homicide department of the Miami police force as lived by Detective Malcolm Ainslie. We learn how the detectives operate, from gathering evidence, surveillance and questioning to getting the warrant to make an arrest. As usual in Hailey's novels, the protagonist is personally involved with one of the characters affected by the professional decisions he makes. In this case, he ...more
Tamrina Matta
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A gripping one

The book begins with some interesting events which make sure that the reader wouldn't be able to put the book down. Wuth a lot of unexpected twists and turns, the book maintains a steady amount of suspense. Even though I did predict a couple of major secrets even before they were revealed, the context sure did come as a surprise. Sargent Malcolm Ainslie's character comes out to be a most intelligent cop and a heartwarming person, though certain aspects of his character are not tha
M Suzatska
Feb 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
Started out wanting to read a "light" fiction book. But. No can do. Not worth spending time reading this when I can read better books.
Sep 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This is an old-fashioned crime novel. I remembered Hailey, because he wrote a book back in the 80s or 90s called Airport, that was a giant blockbuster hit they made a movie out of. Well, I just looked it up, Airport was 1968, a movie in 1970. Detective was Hailey's LAST novel, in 1997, and he died in 2004, in the Bahamas, where he moved as soon as the IRS took 30% of the million dollars he made off Airport. He said "F*CK TH*T" and moved, in 1970! Can you believe that? Interesting.
His books are s
Oct 20, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Fluffed up and boring as hell!

The first 40 pages are so long, drawn-out that I literally fell asleep - twice. The author just goes on and on with descriptions and characters imagining, talking slowly. It was building up a plot no doubt.

And then the names of the characters. This book is among the most atrociously-named characters that I've come across. And without starting the action, without anything interesting happening the author keeps on introducing newer and newer characters. After 20 more
Feb 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Okay… I read Arthur Hailey’s “Detective” this wknd… his protagonist is a detective who had lost his faith as a Catholic priest. An interesting read, but I felt somewhat sorry for Mr Hailey, as he used his detective to rail against the church and faith. Mr Hailey had lost his faith in WWII while serving in Cyprus. This was the author’s last novel before he passed away…

The book left me wishing I could have met Mr Hailey before he passed… to chat about the difference between church and faith and s
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Detective is a pretty straight-forward novel about, imagine this, a detective. Basing my review from the title, I would not have gone very high, but I was pleasantly surprised when I read the book.
The novel primarily follows Malcom Ainslie, a 40-something year old homicide detective, as he tries to solve the mystery of a series of killings. The killings are very brutal and bloody, with some odd things at each scene. One particular scene, of a high society couple, seems to be different somehow th
Nancy Ellis
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I understand this is the last book Hailey wrote before his death, but it's the first of his that I've read. I will definitely be reading his earlier books! This is an amazing mystery, full of underlying plots that work together to form the complete story of Detective Malcolm Ainslie, the man who caught serial killer Elroy Doil. It starts on the day of Doil's execution when Doil insists on confessing only to Ainslie. This draws us into the background story of Doil's capture, and along the way we' ...more
Jul 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
It was interesting reading an Arthur Hailey novel in a genre so well-known; most of his books gave an insider's view of specific industries previously kept in the background, and yet how many crime books are there now? Hundreds, if not thousands, of books follow homicide detectives through a complex case and yet there is still something different about this one.

Detective was almost exactly what I expected: a book with a well-researched background, interesting plot with corners and enough charact
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Malcolm Ainslie is a homicide detective in Miami. A serial killer has been caught and convicted but there is doubt as to his guilt in all the crimes he has been charged with. Ainslie and his team work on other homicides as well. The job sometimes demands very tedious research and is not always exciting and action packed but results are achieved. The impact of the job is felt not only by the individual detectives but also by their families. It is an interesting insight into how the justice system ...more
P A Sivachander
Aug 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Arthur Hailey was the man whom I fell in love with when I read airport and the evening news. I needn't describe his general methodology of writing since that is well known to all. I felt maybe he just slipped a bit in his one final attempt. detective was as racy as airport but it stops with that in the first half. and then it was as detailed as the evening news in the second half. but Wat I really thought was this book fell short of the standards of either of the books. he tries to convey 2 main ...more
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Arthur Hailey.. What can I have done it again. It is remarkable how the author can pick an industry get to know the nitty gritty details and spin a tale. I have read Hotel and Overload and I dont how .. but he has maintained the same intensity here even though the characters are going through the rigour of daily life. The ebb and flow is so natural one does not get tired following it (I mean that it aint like prison break).

Targetting the fundamental morals each proffession brings about
Chaitalee Ghosalkar
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

The plot has no surprises (or so it seems), for the writer goes back and forth explaining how things came on to the point they are presently. You still go on with it, because the premise is pretty interesting (read gore).

However the interjection of a non-relevant case breaks the link and makes you feel disillusioned.

But when you are ready to give up on the remaining 33% of the book, the author packs a punch through the final revelation.

Dicey protagonist though, what with the way the boo
Aditya Choppa
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is not just another detective book where the protagonist makes absurd claims using far-fetched clues, and somehow most of them come true. This book takes us through the tedious work the detectives have to go through in-order to solve a case. Since the protagonist is a former priest who lost faith, the monologues about faith in God,religion and theological philosophies find a way into the book without deterring the pace of the novel and they don't feel out place. I have to admit that I enjoy ...more
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: detective, 2010
Arthur Hailey knew how to write a catching plot and when you think that everything is clear, then he put some twist in the plot.However at the end you catch the grand finale and suddenly there is no more pages.
Detective Malcolm Ainslie was the main hero of the book and author gave him more plasticity then any other characters. Ainslie was not only detective but also former catholic priest, which was used as one of the plot movement point. The catching and execution of serial killer Elroy "Anima
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Arthur Hailey was a British/Canadian novelist. After working at a number of jobs and writing part-time, he became a writer full-time during 1956, encouraged by the success of the CBC television drama, Flight into Danger (in print as Runway Zero Eight ). Following the success of Hotel in 1965, he moved to California; followed by a permanent move to the Bahamas in 1969.

Each of his novels has a diff
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“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” 0 likes
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