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Poison (87th Precinct #39)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  833 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Jerome Edward McKennon was found sprawled on the carpet, the phone clenched in his fist. It was a gruesome poisoning, and the clues lead to gorgeous Marilyn Hollis. When Detective Hal Willis finds himself falling in love with Marilyn, he knows the only hope for their love is to prove her innocence, before passion turns to Poison. HC: Arbor House.
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 28th 1992 by Avon Books (first published 1987)
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James Thane
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Marilyn Hollis is drop-dead gorgeous and financially independent, thanks, she says, to her wealthy father in Texas. When a man she is dating is poisoned to death, Detective Steve Carella and his associates from the 87th Precinct come calling on Ms. Hollis. She’s sorry to hear the news, but informs the detectives that the victim is only one of the men that she dates. She is very open-minded and free-spirited and expects the same sort of attitude on the part of her beaus.

As almost always happens e
Krystle Kouture
It was refreshing to read a crime novel where the detectives didn't have cell phones or the internet.
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mcbain
just finished this one, april 1st, just before eight pee em. still light out. snow is melting. melting. had 260" this winter and maybe, maybe it is over with. still lot of ground cover yet. this is a great story. in this one, mcbain goes into a bit more detail in the life of one of the characters, not one of the main characters, one unique to this story, marilyn hollis, time in mexico in a nasty prison, time in argentina. haven't looked...but i've no doubt someone has read this and caught the fa ...more
Jun 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, series, police
A good story. Detective Hal Willis is the lead (cop) character in this book; he's been around for quite awhile, but usually plays second banana to Carella, Hawes, Meyer or Kling - or used as background filler. Nice he got his own story. Multiple murders stacking up and it looks more and more like the guilty party is Hal's new girlfriend. Her backstory gets more convoluted every time she tells it - she definitely still has secrets, but can Hal trust her? It's nice McBain has finally done more wit ...more
Sep 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
3.5 stars. A man is poisoned with tobacco and another is stabbed to death in another precinct. The only link is an apparent wealthy woman, who was seeing both of them. Then, Hal Willis falls in love with her and her sordid past is revealed to him bit by bit, as she is an obvious suspect, especially when a third drops dead shortly after she visits him to break it off. The 87th Street team solves the murder, leaving Hal in a quandary as to his strong feelings for her.
Jan 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This was one of McBain's 87th Precinct novels. It seemed quite dated, published in 1987, but was a pretty good story. Not one of his best but worth a read.
Sep 09, 2013 rated it liked it
One of the two detectives investigating the murders of a woman's lovers falls for her. Murdered by nicotine, knife, nicotine in liquor
Jul 05, 2016 added it
Shelves: mystery
I love McBain's 87th Precinct series. Just love it.
Aileen Bernadette Urquhart
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Good intricate plot, leaving Willis with a big problem at the end. (No spoilers!)
Jan 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nls-audio
I don’t recall when I last dropped by the 87th precinct to check up on Steve Carella and the others, but it has been entirely too long. For some reason, this one felt a bit darker than some in the series, and I’m not sure I can pinpoint exactly why.

Carella and Hal Willis have been called to a gruesome scene as the book opens. A dead man lies in his own excrement and vomit, and it soon becomes obvious to the detectives that suicide isn’t the issue. But if the man was murdered, who did it, and how
Ian Brydon
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
I first encountered Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series of novels as a teenager and thought they were marvellous. Indeed, they were probably the first so-called 'police procedurals' that I read, and I devoured them with great eagerness. It is, however, probably about ten years since I last read one, though when I saw this on offer very cheaply in the Kindle store I thought I would give it a go.

Sadly this was not McBain at his best. It lacked both the gritty immediacy and the basic plausibility of h
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Life in the 87th is never dull. When Carella and Willis catch a murder involving nicotine poisoning things get even a little more interesting. Then when a potential suspect makes a play for Willis things get complicated.

Fast paced, just enough complicated, and bare bones makes for an interesting read. I will admit I wanted to just shake Willis a couple of times and there were pages that I wanted to skip because they were disturbing because they really could happen that way.

Not having read one of
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
This is a classic femme fatale story as Detective Willis falls for Marilyn Hollis, who becomes the chief suspect in a series of fatal poisonings. The pace and the suspense build steadily as Willis and Carella’s separate investigations pick up speed. There is the usual gritty reality and humour of the other 87th Precinct novels and some interesting character development, especially Willis. There are only two real ways that the story can end but the excellent writing and witty dialogue drags you a ...more
Glenn Altman
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

87th Precinct novels are consistently excellent, the more of them you read, the more you'll like them. The characters are real people, with complete lives and personalities, including problems and faults. The plots are complete. As real and complex as the characters who commit the crimes and the police who solve them.
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Three and a half? Maybe not McBain's finest, but still a pretty interesting procedural. Interesting to see Hal Willis in a lead role considering all we've really ever known about him previous to this book is that he is an uncommonly short martial arts expert. Not enough Meyer Meyer in this book for my tastes though.
Lynette Barfield
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
a murder leads to one of the precinct's detectives investigating a woman he is starting to fall for. Another outstanding McBain novel.
Dec 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 32013, 32013-owned
This wasn't the typical 87th precinct book - ramble on another topic for quite some time. The non crime storyline did not enhance the book for me.
Shirley Alvarez
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

WOW! No one has written books like this one. I'm telling you that you have to read it! I feel it needs a #10!
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had no clue who the perpetrator was until the very last,,great read,,
Steve Gozdecki
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of McBain's more noir books, that's for sure....
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Amazing read. Could barely put it down. Such an exciting ending.
LInda L
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the best -- never guessed who the bad guy was. Total surprise.
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
My least favourite of his books so far. It reads more like a romance than a detective novel.
rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2011
charles marshall
rated it it was amazing
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Mary Kay
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Jun 06, 2008
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Jan 07, 2015
Harald Raykowski
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Jan 26, 2016
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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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