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The Pusher (87th Precinct) [Kindle Edition]

Ed McBain
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A bitterly cold night offers up a body turned blue—not frozen, but swinging from a rope in a dank basement. The dead teen seems like a clear case of suicide, but Detective Steve Carella and Lieutenant Peter Byrnes find a few facts out of place, and an autopsy confirms their suspicions. The boy hadn’t hung himself but OD’d on heroin before an unknown companion strung him up to hide the true cause of death. The revelation dredges up enough muck to muddy the waters of what should’ve been an open-and-shut case. To find the answers to a life gone off the rails, Carella and Byrnes face a deep slog into the community of users and pushers—but a grim phone calls discloses that very community already has its claws in a cop’s son. A new pusher is staking a claim right under the 87th Precinct’s noses, and it’s up to Carella and Byrnes to snag the viper before it poisons their whole lives.


Books In This Series (25 Books)
Complete Series


  • Product Description

    About the Author

    Ed McBain was one of the pen names of successful and prolific crime fiction author Evan Hunter (1926–2005). Debuting in 1956, the popular 87th Precinct series is one of the longest running crime series ever published, featuring more than 50 novels, and is hailed as "one of the great literary accomplishments of the last half-century." McBain was awarded the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement in 1986 by the Mystery Writers of America and was the first American to receive the Cartier Diamond Dagger award from the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain.

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 1860 KB
    • Print Length: 212 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1477805699
    • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (19 Nov. 2013)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00FT1N2PA
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,470 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    More About the Author

    Ed McBain was one of the many pen names of the successful and prolific crime fiction author Evan Hunter (1926 - 2005). Born Salvatore Lambino in New York, McBain served aboard a destroyer in the US Navy during World War II and then earned a degree from Hunter College in English and Psychology. After a short stint teaching in a high school, McBain went to work for a literary agency in New York, working with authors such as Arthur C. Clarke and P.G. Wodehouse all the while working on his own writing on nights and weekends. He had his first breakthrough in 1954 with the novel The Blackboard Jungle, which was published under his newly legal name Evan Hunter and based on his time teaching in the Bronx.

    Perhaps his most popular work, the 87th Precinct series (released mainly under the name Ed McBain) is one of the longest running crime series ever published, debuting in 1956 with Cop Hater and featuring over fifty novels. The series is set in a fictional locale called Isola and features a wide cast of detectives including the prevalent Detective Steve Carella.

    McBain was also known as a screenwriter. Most famously he adapted a short story from Daphne Du Maurier into the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963). In addition to writing for the silver screen, he wrote for many television series, including Columbo and the NBC series 87th Precinct (1961-1962), based on his popular novels.

    McBain was awarded the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement in 1986 by the Mystery Writers of America and was the first American to receive the Cartier Diamond Dagger award from the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain. He passed away in 2005 in his home in Connecticut after a battle with larynx cancer.

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars McBain is in top form! 8 Nov. 2003
    By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE
    Format:Paperback
    Published in 1956, "Pusher" by Ed McBain, one of the author's famed 87th Precinct mysteries,
    may be a bit dated, but the sheer power of writing and the abilitiy of the author makes this one a
    worthy read. McBain's legions of fans (most of whom have, no doubt, already read this one)
    certainly found this one to be a choice selection.
    This time we find Steve Carella and Lieutenant Peter Byrnes again up to their precinct necks in
    crime. As the title suggests, they're investigating the death of a drug dealer. The autopsy had said
    suicide, but Carella and Byrnes know better. And with the speed of some sound writing style and
    excellent plot development, Mc Bain carries his readers full tilt. There's no resting; the pace is
    terrific!
    Aided by first-class dialogue development "Pusher" is quick and easy to read. One doesn't
    have to be totally dedicated to McBain to enjoy this one. Remember: it's quick and easy. And good.
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    4.0 out of 5 stars 87th Precinct classic 18 April 2011
    Format:Paperback
    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 place on those pages... and cold, man it's cold.
    'The citizens grinned into the wind, but the wind was not in a smiling mood.'
    After that it gets down to business, the shadows are swept aside and the cold only nips at the narrative infrequently as McBain gets down to populating his police procedural with interesting characters. That is the real strength of these books - just well thought out and realised characters, which doesn't stint with even the minor cast.
    I've heard all the comparisons to Dragnet but I'd be pulling the wool over your eyes if I agreed with them as I've barely seen more than an episode of that old series. So I'll stick with what I do know, throw my cards down on the table and say it most put me in mind of 'On Dangerous Ground' a classic noir film from the 50s starring Robert Ryan, which in turn was an adaptation of an old noir pulp by Gerald Butler. The early scenes set in the city do sing 87th Precinct at me. And I could draw a little parallel with Carella's romance with his deaf-mute wife Teddy to Robert Ryan's character falling for Ida Lupino's blind girl.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Hard boiled and still relevant 9 Dec. 2013
    By Jl Adcock VINE VOICE
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    "The Pusher" is the third novel in McBain's 87th Precinct series, and also the third book he produced in the series that appeared in 1956. As with its predecesors, it's punchy, of its time and yet still relevant even today, almost 60 years after original publication. Here, McBain delves into the underworld of drug pushers and the consequences of a life hooked on dope - both for those that push and those that receive.

    Set in the lead up to Christmas, the story also reveals that disillusionment with the overly commercial nature of the festive season is nothing new. Read this one in December any year and you'll enjoy reflections on universal themes as well another well-crafted police procedural along the way.

    The afterword from McBain also makes interesting reading. The series could have taken a very different direction indeed from how it panned out, so this too adds interesting context to how the early 87th Precinct stories were originally conceived and later changed.

    Annoyingly, "The Pusher" has only just appeared in the latest batch of Kindle releases, so anyone working through the series in order (which is recommended), will have to backtrack if they've skipped it, but it's worth doing. The e-book contains one chapter where a paragraph is repeated twice, which once more proves that there is scope to improve the quality of proof reading before release. But in terms of content - another fine read from McBain.
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    4.0 out of 5 stars 87th Precinct revisited - always a pleasure 21 April 2011
    By Gs-trentham VINE VOICE
    Format:Paperback
    87th Precinct enthusiasts may find this darker than some in the series but it fully endorses the late Ed McBain's standing among the best of the police procedural authors. The opening half-dozen paragraphs, a little set piece drawing the reader into a bitter winter night on the streets, are a model of their kind. The scenario - a series of drug-related killings - is bleak, but no one claims police work is all fun and laughter.

    One word of caution for those who like to read the last few pages of a book to test their taste buds: McBain's afterword sheds interesting light upon his whole approach to this series, but it also discloses a crucial element in the ending of The Pusher that deserves to be read where it is placed.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars The Pusher 18 Oct. 2009
    By Rich
    Format:Paperback
    Again, another fast-moving read from McBain. Surprisingly tough for it's time, this whiles away a few hours very pleasantly. Perhaps the resolution is a little simplistic given the build up but this is still a satisfying read.
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