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on 16 January 2015
As usual with ed mcbain books this is excellent, have read this before but it still comes up fresh and the 87th precinct characters are a joy to picture in all their various moods. This is an excellent purchase with regard to condition and purchase.
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on 24 December 2011
"Mischief" was published in 1993, the latest (at that time) of a long series of "87th Precinct" novels that began in 1956 (with "Cop Hater") and ended in 2005 (with "Fiddler"). And in the majority of the "87th" books, the same cops pick up the workload and gumshoe along until they find the bad guy and put him away. Steve Carella, Cotton Hawes, Meyer Meyer, Bert Kling, all working away case after case, year after year... if they were in their twenties in 1956 they'd be in their sixties and seventies by 1993, but if age has affected them in anyway, they don't show it. Carella still has the golden skin and slant eyes that beguiled his beautiful, deaf-mute wife Teddy, Cotton Hawes still has the shock of red hair with the white streak and Meyer Meyer still can't figure out the politically correct term for his total baldness. Like Biggles, none of them ever get any older. And all power to them, because they are all part of the family in my head now, like old friends, along with many others from a kaleidoscope of books...
In "Mischief" we have elderly people with dementia being dumped on the city's streets; the Deaf Man (who I think first appeared in 1973) is taunting the cops with shreds of evidence for his next big heist; ambitious young black rappers are jumping into bed with each other while they await their Big Break; and an unknown killer is going round shooting street taggers. All in a day's work for the boys of the 87th...
This is, I think, one of the best of all the 87th books; McBain has effortlessly kept astride of the times, updating his books and always pushing the envelope of language and behaviour as far as the arbiters of taste will let him, from the strait-jacket of 1950s censorship to the freedom of the 1990s. His work goes from strength to strength, drawing power from the evolving form of the detective thriller and never being hamstrung by its conventions. Lesser writers have painted themselves into stylistic corners and died out like dinosaurs, unable to adapt to changing times and tastes, but McBain drew strength from change and just got better as the years passed by. I wish he could have lived forever. Well, he didn't, but his books might. I hope so, anyway... I haven't read all of them yet, and it'll be a sad day when I have. But for now, there's still tomorrow...
"Mischief" is a cracker. If you've never read an "87th McBain", start with this one.
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on 22 March 2013
Always well writtten, but I felt this one was laboured. Could have done with a bit of editing, and there were none of the humorous and human touches that enlighten his best crime novels. I'd give this one a miss.
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on 16 June 2016
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