- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Orion; Exclusive to Waterstones edition (2 Mar. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0752881159
- ISBN-13: 978-0752881157
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.8 x 17.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,652,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Pusher Paperback – 2 Mar 2006
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More About the Author
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.
Most suicides don't realise the headaches they cause ... An 87th Precinct novel
About the Author
Ed McBain (1926-2005) was born Salvatore Lambino in New York. He changed his name to Evan Hunter and under that name is known as the author of The Blackboard Jungle and as the writer of the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. The 87th Precinct series numbers over fifty novels. McBain was a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America and was one of three American writers to be awarded the CWA Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement.
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Top Customer Reviews
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
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.
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.
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.
'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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another book that breaks The mould of crime novels.
Fast and pacy without being glib.
Good read as per expected.
Pretty dull, following a set routine, predictable and ultimately uninspiring. Look to Paul
Finch for a real heart-stopper. Read more
I read a lot of the 87th precinct books as I was growing up and enjoyed the way the stories unfolded. This was a new one for me and it certainly doesn't disappoint. Read morePublished 5 months ago by peter