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3.5 out of 5 stars6
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 November 2014
Apart from the odd 87th series book, I haven’t read anything from McBain for over 20 years. I think my enjoyment of this offering, means it won’t be another 20 before I start re-visiting his fictional city.

We have a learner driver, who knocks down and kills the wife of her driving instructor. There’s 3 or 4 possibilities; a total accident (and a coincidence that the victim is connected to the driving instructor), or the driver did it on purpose, but the instructor remains responsible because it happened under his tutelage, or the instructor himself engineered the accident, or the “troubled” victim decided to commit suicide and either by design or coincidence involved her husband in the act.

As our investigation unveils more evidence, we arrive at a plausible and satisfactory conclusion. Along the way, we cross paths with the church and a priest who was counselling the victim, but refuses to reveal too much to the detectives citing priest-penitent privilege – something which frustrates them but always kinds of interests me as a reader. Detective Logan knows there’s a thread of a clue in the nature of her victim’s availing herself of the priest’s services when it’s discovered he isn't of her own parish. She has to keep picking at it.

As an aside, we learn details of Logan’s own personal situation – her marital troubles and the continuing awkward dialogue with her estranged husband and his new girl, as they try to negotiate a divorce. All of this was irrelevant to the plot but added to my enjoyment – you can’t beat a bit of flesh on the bones.

Overall, not the best book I've read this month, but I certainly got value far surpassing the 50p I paid for it.

3 from 5

Bought second hand
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on 31 March 2014
Ed McBain never disappoints but I felt let down on the price as it wasn't made clear this was a short story!
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on 12 August 2014
Not a typical Ed McBain story. The ending was obvious after the first chapter.
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on 20 August 2003
I must admit I haven't read a lot of McBain's work - I'm fairly new to him as a reader. I have been reading a lot of the 87th Precinct novels and the quality of these inspired me to pick up this novella. The book is tightly written and quite engaging but for the price, well, it seems a little expensive for what you get. McBain isn't doing anything new here, although what he does is well written and well executed. A tight little thriller and I like the idea of releasing novellas by well known writers, but it does seem a tad expensive for something that doesn't really give you anything new in the genre.
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on 30 July 2014
A simple story line very enjoyable like al Ed McBain books
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on 30 October 2015
A good read.
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