The Mugger (87th Precinct) ★★★✬☆

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Title: The Mugger
Series: 87th Precinct
Author: Ed McBain
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Crime Fiction
Pages: 149
Words: 49K

Oh, this not a cozy crime novel and I’m realizing this series is not even going to be “comfortable murder solving 101” like with Nero Wolfe. Not being a “crime fiction” aficiando, I think I would call this True Crime. It’s certainly dirty, gritty and violent enough. I added the ultra violent tag because a 17 year old is killed and she was pregnant, by her brother in law. I felt dirty just writing that.

The whole Mugger thing is a separate storyline and McBain plays the reader like a violin in how he interweaves them and makes them appear as one. It was fantastic. There are times I like being manipulated as a reader and McBain did that masterly in this book.

At the same time, the whole pregnant 17 year old thing was extremely disturbing. She had fallen in love with her brother in law and he used that to his own advantage. It was the grossest violation of adult power that I have read about in a long time. Realizing that people can be, and are, like this really depresses me. As a Christian I know that humanity as a whole is fallen, ie, no longer perfect because of sin. But knowing something and seeing something are very different things. I’ve talked about this with a friend of mine, and that dichotomy of knowing that humanity is the worst while still expecting the best of them, is something most Christians seem to have to live with. So while this kind of behavior is rather normal, unfortunately, it still shocks me.

I do hope this kind of thing isn’t going to be the norm. That would be too heavy a burden for me to deal with I suspect.


  • All My “87th Precinct” Reviews

19 thoughts on “The Mugger (87th Precinct) ★★★✬☆

    1. I’ve had my fill of Burroughs! I tried to power through the Barsoom/John Carter series a while ago and I think I made it through 5 or 6 books before I lost momentum and just couldn’t take any more 😀
      So now I avoid his stuff altogether.


  1. Dealing with crime literature does indeed entail having to face the worst humanity can offer, the only consolation being that – most of the time – the “bad guys” are apprehended and pay for their crimes. Still, it seems you are having a more than decent time with this series, which I remember fondly (even though details have become quite foggy…), particularly because of the sense of camaraderie and family established between the detectives of the 87th Precinct. And that can go a long way toward counterbalancing the darkness of the crimes…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have read a few McBain books, but I agree – they tend to be too gritty for me.

    Dell Shannon’s books about the LAPD are much more my style 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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