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4.1 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 November 2004
This, this first novel of McBain's 87th Precinct, is the one that set him on the path to greatness. Before I read it, I'd heard vaguely of him, but wasn't exactly rushing to start a series with over 50 entries. Now THAT, is impressive. In the 40 years plus since this series began, McBain has written a huge number of them, enough to make it [probably] the longest police procedural series ever. It also has the unique twist that there is no central character, but a squad-room full of them who are built upon book-by-book.
I read this book rather timorously, I was expecting it to be okay, no fireworks. To some extent, that's true - there are no fireworks, exactly, but it was so incredibly entertaining to read that I've now purchased every single entry that's currently available in Britain, and have started to gobble them up. So far, I highly recommend every single one.
McBain uses everything: forensics, psychology, melodrama, character, etc etc, to move his stories along. They're snappy, fizz with energy and wit, small bites of sarcasm, and are superbly enjoyable. That's as good a thing as can be said about a novel, really. This first entry is a rather simple story concerning a killer who seems out to get the boys of the 87th Precinct, but it clips along at a great pace, introduces us to some brilliant characters who just get better as the series progresses, and makes a brilliant tapestry of police investigation. I loved it. (Obviously, that's why I bought the rest.)
If you've never tried McBain before, this is an ideal place to start now that Orion seems to be reissuing them all, after having been out of print for so long. It's not a series which demands to be read in order, either (at least, I haven't, and I don't feel I'm loosing anything much) - which is a bonus, because attempting to read a 50+ entry series in order would b a rather daunting task.
McBain is certainly the master of this kind of American crime novel. I've never enjoyed a set of police procedural books more (well, apart from those of Henning Mankell). Pick one up today, because you won't regret it.
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on 3 May 2004
This is the first book in a series of approximately 55 or so (and still counting!) McBain introduces you to the detectives of the 87th Precinct, particularly Carella, Meyer and Kling who feature heavily in the rest of this wonderful crime series.
The book opens with a cop murdered in cold blood with no clues as to who did it, as the detectives are left reeling over this mindless killing, another is killed, again with no real clues or suspects.
It's not a deep book where there are so many twists and turns that you get confused, but it carries enough weight to keep your interest up - I loved it and have since collected nearly all of the 87th series.
Can't recommend Cop Hater highly enough!
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This is the very first of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novels and was first published in the US in 1956 (although it wasn't released in the UK until 1958). In the introduction, Ed McBain explains how the series came about and why he decided to base the books on a squadroom of police detectives, as opposed to one particular hero, and why he opted for an anonymous city, loosely based on New York. Does it matter that the book is now somewhat dated, that the slang is obviously from another era and that the characters hardly age as you read through the series? Not at all. Ed McBain created a whole world around these characters and, if you do read this series, you will get to know, and love, them.

One of the main characters in this series is Steve Carella, who appears in this first novel. There is a heat wave in the city and the detectives are faced with enough problems when a member of the squad is gunned down in an apparently motiveless murder. When another detective is also shot, it is apparent that there is someone targeting the 87th Precinct - but why and who? If things were not bad enough, the press have their own ideas about the murders which make a bad situation infinitely worse. This is a fantastic start to a very long running series which, unlike most, just gets better and better.
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on 14 March 2013
Fantastic to see Ed McBain's 87th Precinct finally make it to kindle. Shame it's only bits and pieces of the series so far ..... You can read the first two but then the 3rd one isn't available yet.

This is great stuff - short and pithy. Bit old fashioned possibly, but stick with the series and watch whilst the decades go by but the characters age very little! "Cop Hater" is definitely the place to start - you'll meet all the key players in the series in a story that might not be the most original but has a nice little twist!
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on 3 May 2013
I have read most of the 87th precinct novels ( years ago) and I am ecstatic that they are now coming onto kindle.
OMG I cant wait for the rest to come on board so that I can read again about Bert Kling, Steve Carella and the rest of the detectives.
The deaf man is one to watch out for.
By the way, Steve's wife is an amazing addition to the sub plot and if you can read them in order you will fall in love with them all.
These books were of course the ones which led to the creation of tv programmes like Hill Street Blues etc.
Ed Mc Bain's real name(poss) is Evan Hunter. read his books. Brill. Budwing and the blackboard Jungle are the best 2 books ever.
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Cop Hater is where Ed McBain started his long-running and brilliant series of 87th Precinct novels in 1956. Reading this slim book again now, it remains fresh, urgent and gripping. The template for all that followed is contained in this one volume, and the introduction by McBain also adds a sense of context to the groundbreaking approach he was taking back then.

The story itself holds up wonderfully well 57 years on from when it first appeared, and you can't say that about too much fiction in this genre. The sleazy, violent beauty of the city is drawn well, the characters all arrive fully formed and utterly believable, and the narrative is direct and pacy - a style that McBain honed and polished as the series developed. For the time, you get the feeling that the book must have shocked some readers, such is the blatantly violent and sensual nature of the material.

The Kindle version is well-formatted with no obvious typos, so the e-versions are certainly worth exploring. It is, however, a shame to have seen the price of the 87th Precinct series edge up by a couple of quid since they appeared in March. Under two pounds a shot makes them worth having, now at just under £4.00 for books this slim, they are not so much of a bargain. Cynical marketing I guess.

Pricing aside, it's fantastic to see these books out again. Anyone yet to discover the wonders of well-told, direct police procedurals in this series should start here and enjoy the journey. Often imitated - but simply never bettered, McBain was a genius at this form of writing.
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on 3 February 2012
This is the first book in Ed McBain's long running police procedural series 87th Precinct. McBain would continue writing the ongoing series for half a century until 2005, the year of his death.
Someone is killing cops with a 45 calibre handgun. Steve Carella and the rest of the precinct have to find the killer before he kills again. Carella and Teddy are unmarried still and between the exhaustive investigation the pair try to snatch enough time together to decide on a date for the wedding.
As with quite a few of his books McBain makes good use of the weather conditions. You can almost feel the heat throughout. The last time I read one of these it was to the other polar extreme, with the city literally freezing in the depth and dark of winter. What really makes 87th Precinct books work though is the to and fro between the cops, the banter, some of it digging into the investigations or just the mix of everyday talk of a bunch of guys doing a day to day job, friendships, rivalries - real dialogue. McBain doesn't let the plot rule him. He takes time to develop characters and aspects of the city that sometimes have little or nothing to do with the central plot line. It's all canvas for big the picture. Don't expect summarised forensic reports either. For example if Carella gets a lab or ballistic report expect to hear it line for line. With this being the first book there's quite a lot of technical and scientific stuff to cover too. Fingerprints - here comes a breakdown of the chemical process that results in finger prints being created. It's just one of those signature elements that makes the series what it is.
Cop Hater isn't going to be the best book in the series but it does serve as a great introduction. The book was adapted for a 1958 movie of the same name starring Robert Loggia in the Carella/Carelli role.
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VINE VOICEon 23 February 2011
Ed McBain is the author who really created the police procedural novel, with his series of fifty-five 87th Precinct books written between 1956 and 2005. In the introduction to Cop Hater, he tells how he came up with the idea of a squadroom of police officers, all with different characters, whom together would make a `conglomerate hero`. Thus was the 87th Precinct born, set in a fictional city similar to New York. Different policemen star in the novels, and as in real life, they will come and go from the squadroom, with one detective in particular, Steve Carella, holding a central position.

Cop Hater is set at the height of a sweltering summer - everyone is suffering from the heat and humidity, even the cops - especially as they know that with the heat comes open windows, raised tempers, and more crime for them to deal with. The novel starts with a man getting up to go to work on the evening shift. But he'll never get there - for a gunman shoots him in the back of the head. The corpse is no ordinary body either - `Mike Reardon was a cop'.

Steve Carella leads the investigation which faces difficulties from the outset as there were virtually no clues. Then events take on a more frenzied turn when another cop is murdered, and then a third. It must be a `cop hater' - who will be next? Carella is then put in a difficult situation when a journalist prints Carella's off the record remarks and puts his girlfriend in danger leading to a final twist that I never saw coming.

The drama is backed up by wonderful descriptions of solid policework, taking casts of footprints, blood typing and spatter analysis - telling us how its done without being too heavy-handed, (remember this is the 1950s, so no DNA testing or computers here). Anyone who's seen the later TV series Hill Street Blues, or NYPD Blue will be able to picture the squadroom, complete with typewriters, and the bar separating the desks at the entrance. Carella is a solid, dependable and likeable detective with a surprisingly tender side to him in his relationship with Teddy, his girlfriend. The other policemen are also well-drawn and complementary, and those who survive will come to the fore in some subsequent novels.

I definitely want to read more 87th Precinct novels.
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on 5 July 2013
Light on details and characterisation. If you're used to recent American crime writers this has little of interest but passes a few hours. Dated.
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on 3 October 2013
I bought this, well because I like detective stories, but also because it was an old story from the mid 1950's I have always imagined how old novels would read like and I wasn't disappointed. It's a very simple easy read, simple plot, although a nice twist at the end, simple characters who you come to like even though there isn't the in depth biography you get in this day and age. A nice simple light read, with the only thi9ng missing is the rain that wipes the slime from the walls, Instead its a heat wave.

If you'd like a quick light read, then this is your book. There is nothing to deep about it, it is just what it is, a nice easy pleasant read. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series (The Mugger) and others thereafter.
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