Once again, I LOVE the way McBain describes weather:
Winter came in like an anarchist with a bomb.
Wild, shrieking, puffing hard, it caught the city in cold, froze the marrow and froze the heart.
The wind roared under eaves and tore around corners, lifting hats and lifting skirts, caressing ...more
There is nothing usual about this case, from the cause of death to a list of suspects that includes the son of one of the 87th Precinct's longstanding detectives.
Then I picked up The Pusher, third in the serie ...more
The 87th Precinct is set in a fictional US city and features the cops and detectives of the 87th Precinct. In this edition, they and the city they protect are preparing for Xmas. The story starts with Detective Steve Carella and his partner, newly promoted Detective King called ...more
An early 87th Precinct story. This one promises rather more noir than it actually delivers. Its opening pages are the hook that tries its darndest to stop you putting the book back onto the spindle and choosing some other more tempting paperback. And even though it's many decades since this one saw anything other than thrift sale piles or charity shop boxes, I can appreciate why McBain lays it on so thick at the start. The city sounded like such a dark and shadow infested p ...more
The ending could have gone very differently.
Pretty good. ...more
There's nothing amazing about any of it really. The opening paragraph is incredibly evocative prose that I hadn't expected to find and immediately hoped for a lot more of it in the rest of the book but aside from the chapter on the b ...more
Well, full disclosure, I've been reading 87th precinct novels for quite some time-- out of order, of course. But recently, I've begun the series from the beginning, and it's a hoot.
The Pusher is the 3rd in the series, and it's really interesting to see how McBain began with the notion of an ensemble cast of detectives that would be interchangeable, with no featured hero or singular protagonist. Well, read this book and in the ...more
I hadn't intended to read another of these so quickly after the 1st 2, even though I knew it sorta started as a trilogy then expanded to a epic series, just because sometimes the books all start seeming the same.
Then book #4 jumped out at me in the library, and I couldn't very well skip the one in between, that'd be silly, so here I am.
I really enjoy ...more
Good call to read this while snowed in for the weekend. Bitterly cold, right before Christmas, the setting matches up with the story. And a great story it is, too. I can see why the 87th Precinct set the standard for a generation of writers. Some of the best parts didn’t even have to do with the case.
“Some of the people saw through the sham and the electrical glitter and the skinny Santa Clauses with straggly beards lining Hall Avenue. Some of the people felt something other than what the ad...more
To be more specific, what is the difference between a good novel and a bad novel? I think it's still fashionable, even at this late date, to avoid this question by saying no one should be limited by the ideas of others concerning what is good and bad, that one man's meat is another man's poison, etc. But – damn the torpedoes – I'm here to tell you that some things are good, and others aren't. Now, if I could just figure out which was which...
This all occurred to me wh ...more
BOOK 229 (of 250)
HOOK=1 star: "Winter came in like an anarchist with a bomb." Writing a Novel: 101, Rule 1=NEVER open your novel with a weather report, otherwise you sound like an "it was a dark and stormy night" lazy author. Rule 2=Don't go over-the-top with your opening line, resulting in unintended laughter. So that's 2 rules violated right off the top.
PACE =2: A slow start picks up about 1/3rd of the way through.
PLOT= 2: Drug dealers get thei ...more
Who else but Ed McBain could open a police procedural novel with a two page description of the city in winter? Who else could make that city as much a character in the story as the people in it? Who else could make the exact amount of chemicals mixed to do a test in a police lab interesting?
This, the third book in the series, published almost 60 years ago, is as fresh and engaging as it was when it first hit the shelves. Su ...more
Like the book I'll be brief and to the point. I know the author wrote them as a series of pot boiler books to live on but in hindsight these are great books. Because space was limited the plot is taut and efficient, no wasted space here.
The characters are sharply drawn and the twists are proper twists. I'm enjoying the way these books read and the internal ongoing life of the setting.
I also love the lack of technology and techno speak to solve problems. These ...more
Not a bad story, it moves along nicely with a couple of small twists.
Interesting footnote by the author. He was originally only paid for 3 novels in this series (he eventually went on to write more than 50) so he had a different ending in his original draft. Before this book was published, his contract had been renewed for a further 3 books ...more
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 ...more