I picked up this book because of the great John Ford film based on it, otherwise I had been thinking that John Creasey must be a hack if he had written over 600 books! How good could they be? To my surprise I must eat my own words. In fact GIDEON'S DAY is quite good and makes me want to read at least some of the other Gideon books, originally published by JJ Marric. In this one George Gideon is looking forward to his day, but a dozen different problems beset him. Like Ed McBain, Gideon's squad does nothing extraordinary or out of the way, just tries to do their quiet best.
Is this book earlier than the 87th Precinct? Can't work it out. In any case some of the material will be a little bit dated, such as the exclamation points when Gideon rips open a box marked "TEA" having seized a gangster hangout cafe, and "reefers" spill out. But Gideon is wonderfully easy to identify with, easy to like, a man's man with a social conscience and an interesting home life. His wife, Kate, isn't just your average stay at home mom, and Gideon is trying to curb his language in response to having a little 4 year old boy who's picking up on his dad's "bloody" all the time. Now Gideon is trying to say "blurry" in place of "bloody," and getting odd looks from his pals at the shop. (Though in a few places later on, when he gets kicked in the head by an escaping gunman, Gideon lets slip a few more trenchant phrases Creasey masks with an em-dash.)
During Gideon's "day" some of the cases get solved, some grow cold. He gets closed to putting away a real bad lot, Murphy, but grows discouraged at others. Gideon and Kate grow unexpectedly closer, and she winds up making him some sandwiches, staying up late for the first time in years, waiting for her man, a nice touch. Now to look up the rest of the series, and to kick myself for having been a snob for years about Creasey's productivity.