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Mischief (87th Precinct, #45)
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Mischief (87th Precinct #45)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  650 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
A punk wielding a spray can is no match for a killer armed with a gun -- and a deadly aim to knock off the city's graffiti artists. One by one, the young scribblers are found murdered, maliciously coated with paint and blood. Detective Steve Carella can't see the writing on the wall -- yet. Meanwhile, the Deaf Man, the 87th Precinct's longtime tormentor, is leading its cop ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Pocket Books (first published September 1st 1993)
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James Thane
This book, which was first published in 1993, is the 45th entry in the 87th Precinct series. A lot has changed in the thirty-seven years since Cop Hater, the first in the series, was released, and as the books progress, one can watch the evolution of the technology used by police to fight crime from index cards and penciled notes to the advent of computers and much more sophisticated forensics.

The books themselves have changed as well. Cop Hater was very much a book of the old-school pulp novel
David Highton
May 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Not my favourite 87th Precinct book, a very downbeat view of the city in crisis, caused by drugs, guns and racial tension, with too many cases coalescing in one book. This loses any pace in the narrative and I found it a little frustrating. Carella, Brown, Meyer, Kling, Hawes and Parker all feature significantly in quite a long book by the standards of the 87th series.
Mar 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of Ed McBain's 87th precient series. Not because of any weighty depth, but the fact its urban grit makes for a very realistic if not somewhat pulpy series. With 1993's Mischief, the stage is set for the return of the Deaf Man and his plans to incite a riot at an all-day park concert.

Like with many of the 87th books, you'll find barely any character development or weighty subject matter. It's the 2 and the 4 in these stories. It's because of that that makes it good. Sometimes simp
Apr 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
As usual, several plots, including the return of the Deaf Man, who is calling and sending clues from a novel to Detective Steve Carella about a pending catastrophe, which is intended as a diversion to hide his brilliant crime. Second, someone is abandoning elderly people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's. Finally, there is a series of killings of graffiti artists ("writers"), which falls in the 87th Street Precinct to solve. A little weaker than usual.
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another great yarn by McBain. He has such a deft touch with police dialogue that I forget I'm reading, rather than listening to conversations between characters. My only complaint about Mischief was an overuse of profanity. Yes, these characters would likely talk this way, but McBain's other books about the 87th precinct that I've read managed with far less reliance on the f-word. Minor issue, but some might be turned off.
Otherwise a fast paced and thoroughly entertaining read.
Sep 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I found another of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct books. In this book someone is murdering graffiti artists in the city. At the same time, the Deaf Man returns taunting the officers of the 87th with clues to a crime that is going to be committed. Will they be able to solve "the mystery" in time to prevent people from being slaughtered? I enjoy the way McBain has two mysteries going on at the same time. I don't think that this is one of his best, however.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, thriller
This is a good fast paced thriller that revolves around the officers of the 87th Precinct (of which there are many in the series apparantly) as they deal with a series of murders, the abandonment of elderly dementia patients and racial tensions. Throw in the communications from the Deaf Man and the Precinct is stretched to breaking point. I don't really know why there were so many different investigations in this one book and it did jump around from one to another a little bit but this could jus ...more
Jan 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Another 87th squad although Carella (to my dismay) plays a rather inconsequential part. The Deaf Man makes his appearance, sending cryptic notes to Carella that hint at potential mass disruption while the other detectives work on the apparent serial killings of graffiti artists.

Good, but not up to McBain's other 87th squad work. McBain sets the bar so high that when he can't quite make the leap, we are excessively disappointed.
Aileen Bernadette Urquhart
Jan 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
Not one of McBain's best. I think there were too many unlinked plots going on, as if he had to add some just to make up the word count. Enjoyable though. The Deaf Man is back, but there just wasn't that much suspense.
Ann Boytim
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Detective Steve Carella and his squad at the 87th precinct receiving letters of impending doom. The squad is investigating graffiti crimes where the scribblers are found dead. Also they are finding old people left on benches most of who do not know how they got there. The "deaf" man supposedly is sending the notes to the squad room and this is a character in past books.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love the way there were many stories of different crimes, some solved and some not,,with a twist on the Deaf Man,,
Jerry B
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A friend recommended McBain to us as one of the great writers of police procedurals of all time. After picking up “Mischief” more or less at random, we were stunned to learn it is the 45th in his 87th Precinct series of 55 novels total about this big (fictional) city PD (although definitely a NYC lookalike), written over a span of some 49 years until the author’s death – so a prolific set of yarns to say the least!

We wish we could be as enthused about the story. We found the book a throwback to
Tony Gleeson
Aug 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Ed McBain's 87th Precinct crew returns in force. So does their old nemesis the Deaf Man. And then there are endless other plots and subplots going on... As usual, the brilliant criminal with the hearing aid (is he REALLY deaf?) hatches a complex scheme to wreak bloody havoc in order to divert the police while his gang pulls an audacious heist. This time the diversion involves a rap concert in the park and a fake sound crew.

McBain's plotting and storytelling as usual are excellent. And as usual,
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is my first read of Ed McBain and I came away a little unimpressed. McBain suffers where many a crime novelist has in a lack of being able to bring young black characters to the page in a convincing manner. Those characters play a central part to this story and it suffers for it. In addition, his many plot branches eventually come together but the climax of it all is not very rewarding. The characters of his 87th Precinct are also either not fleshed out enough (maybe they are in previous en ...more
M. Brian
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
It was just "ok"'s been awhile since I have read/listened to any of the 87th precinct novels and this one just didn't do it for me. It may have something to do with the fact that I recently discovered "Dave Gurney" Let the Devil Sleep which are REALLY good.
LInda L
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another great 87th, which I love in varying degrees. This was good, but not spectacular. However , keep it up.
Sheldon Lehman
Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great! I've been waiting for another in the Deaf Man saga. Vintage McBain!
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Good mystery with too much cussing, sex. Narrated well by Len Cariou, he always does.
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: detective, english
Not McBain's best, I think I enjoy the earliest 87th Precinct novels better. But good narration and the right amount of grit for my taste.
Jul 30, 2012 added it
I have always loved Ed McBain police mysteries . good writer keeps your interest. i read them 0ver 30 years ago maybe i should reread them.
Sep 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mcbain
a good read.
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 29, 2011 rated it liked it
A young graffiti artist is murdered by a man out to exterminate the breed. The Dead Man returns and commits a heinous crime that makes the graffiti killer lock like a choirboy.
Ed Dodson
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
Ed McBain does not come off as believable when writing about Musicians. This contains a recurring character from the book, Calypso, which I also thought was rather lame.
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
A tad dated but still imbued with Ed McBain's irreverent style and understated humor.
Gavin Simms
Maybe I read this one too slowly. But even the deaf man couldn't make it that interesting. Or the twist. Or the tragedy.
Wes Gilbert
Apr 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
My first Ed McBain. Think I'll have another.
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
If Ed McBain isn't the father of the police procedural, he's the master of them. 'Nuff said!
Nov 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok book. Not one of the best I have read.
Apr 15, 2008 rated it liked it
This was my first McBain novel. Pretty good, medium paced "cop" story. I'd like to try another one...anyone else read any of his stuff?
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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 Choice (87th Precinct, #5)
  • 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)

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