Cop Hater (87th Precinct) ★★★✬☆

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Title: Cop Hater
Series: 87th Precinct
Author: Ed McBain
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Crime Fiction
Pages: 112
Words: 49K

During a steamy hot summer, the 87th Precinct is plagued by a rash of cop killings. 3 cops are killed in as many weeks, with one of them being Detective Steve Carella’s partner. After running clues to the ground and coming up empty, Steve gets a lucky break, finds the killer and it’s revealed the whole thing happened to cover up a woman having her husband killed so she wouldn’t have to divorce him.

Talk about misdirection! I was impressed. I was flabbergasted too. I know that I’m almost 70 years removed from the time this was written (it was published in 1956) and that divorce was one of those “social” sins of the time AND that I’ve read/watched this scenario before but it still blows my mind that someone will commit murder and view it as a better option than divorce. It’s like blowing up the court house because you don’t want to pay your speeding fine.

This was a nice short story with McBain focusing on what went on and not trying to give me every single characters back story or explain the city in block by block detail. You simply don’t need that bloat, you just want it. And here, McBain kicks your teeth in, tells you to sit down, shut up and read the fething story! Ahhh, if only readers of today could appreciate this sparse way of telling a story. I don’t think it was THAT great of a story but simply not having any bloat or author ego or message to wade through made this very enjoyable.

The 87th Precinct series is really long one (I currently have access to 40 of them and I’m pretty sure there’s more) so I have decided to add 4 or 5 and then take a break between those little mini rotations. Keep it fresh.

The other thing was the main character’s name, Steve Carella. All I could think of was Steve Carell and so I saw him in his “The Office” role and that made for some really funny mental pictures, as Steve Carella is a tough, no-nonsense detective like Starsky or Hutch.


21 thoughts on “Cop Hater (87th Precinct) ★★★✬☆

  1. Oh my! Talk about “blasts from the past”!!! I believe I read most – if not all – of these thrillers way back when, and I enjoyed them immensely: the whodunit element combined with the interpersonal relationships of the precinct’s detectives made for a very intriguing, totally enjoyable mix. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, prepare yourself then. Unless something totally unexpected happens, I plan on going through the 40 I have available over the coming years 😀

      While I poo-poo’ed the “character building” aspect, McBain sketched these people out like a crime artist. He was good about making every word count…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I actually am. Just don’t keep much of that kind of bread in the house because Mrs B can’t have it because of her crohns.
          So I have a loaf on hand for sandwiches for work.


    1. Yeah, I kept picturing “Michael” acting tough like the cop in the story and man, I kept bursting out laughing several times 😀

      I hope so too. I would like another Nero Wolfe length series I can dig my teeth into.

      Liked by 1 person

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