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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Taut but slightly contrived 87th Precinct title
At times this almost feels like McBain's take on "Twelve Angry Men" with its taut, claustrophobic one room drama playing out for most of the book. A woman seeking vengeance on Steve Carella for the imprisonment of her husband takes colleagues at the 87th Precinct hostage with a gun and a bottle suspected to contain nitroglycerin, and there they wait for him to...
Published 6 months ago by Jl Adcock

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Get Carella!!!!
You know when a long running tv series gets about three quarters through the season it often kicks out an episode where our heroes get caught up in a bank siege or some other contrivance that sees them confined to one or two rooms. Basically they spent all the budget on flashier episodes. Killer's Wedge feels a bit like one of those but in a book. It's easy to become over...
Published on 12 Jan. 2013 by Michael Finn


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Get Carella!!!!, 12 Jan. 2013
By 
Michael Finn (Blackburn, Lancashire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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You know when a long running tv series gets about three quarters through the season it often kicks out an episode where our heroes get caught up in a bank siege or some other contrivance that sees them confined to one or two rooms. Basically they spent all the budget on flashier episodes. Killer's Wedge feels a bit like one of those but in a book. It's easy to become over critical though and forget that 87th Precinct was never meant to be still being appraised, praised and loved over half a century later. They were just 25cent pocket book ephemera that folk might fill a dinner hour or a boring commute with.
A woman turns up at the 87th squad room armed with a gun, a bottle of nitro and a heart filled with hate for Detective Steve Carella. Most of the shift of detectives are present, or stumble in on the proceedings, with the exception of Carella himself. He's off at a creaky old mansion trying to solve a locked room mystery. And it's a very dull mystery with even duller suspects that has the detective mainly fiddling with the locked door, bits of string and crow bars.
Meanwhile back at the squad room various members of the shift roster, including our new hero Cotton Hawes try to work out a way to divest the murderous revenge lady of her weapons. The tension gets cranked to the max for sure, and there's a great wildcard character introduced to the mix, a girl who may or may not have slit a gang leader's throat... but I just didn't enjoy the experience. On the plus side we did get a bit of a look at the inner workings of the precinct. Aside from all that I look forward to the boys getting back to what they do best - fighting crime and shooting the breeze.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fish and fowl, 19 April 2014
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I’ve heard nothing but good things about Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series, but when I tried reading Ice a few years ago it failed to strike a chord with me and I had to quit on my stool. I am, however, a sucker for a locked room mystery, and the presence of such in Killer’s Wedge lured me back for another shot. The results, it must be said, are somewhat mixed.

There is a genuine narrative reason for McBain keeping his two strands – a hostage drama and the aforementioned locked room – isolated, but they consequently feel like a novella and a short story respectively that have simply been cut up and mixed into each other then padded out with some (admittedly rather wonderful) descriptions. To add to the frustrations, all the police characters talk in exactly the same voice (seriously, everybody calls it 'soup' – what’s up with that?) and the conclusions of each plot are really rather underwhelming once you get there.

No-one is pretending this is high art, though, and I ripped through it in no time at all, thanks largely to the immediacy of McBain’s writing (“It’s not a conspiracy,” Meyer corrected. “It’s a spontaneous program of hatred.”) and the resourcefulness of his plotting in the siege thread that comprises the significantly larger and more interesting portion of the book. A lot of care has gone into what could easily have been a pulp-y mess, and for that alone I can’t just dismiss this one out of hand.

Not an unqualified success, but if anyone can make a recommendation of where to go next with the boys from the 87th, I’d certainly check them out again...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Taut but slightly contrived 87th Precinct title, 28 Oct. 2014
By 
Jl Adcock "John Adcock" (Ashtead UK) - See all my reviews
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At times this almost feels like McBain's take on "Twelve Angry Men" with its taut, claustrophobic one room drama playing out for most of the book. A woman seeking vengeance on Steve Carella for the imprisonment of her husband takes colleagues at the 87th Precinct hostage with a gun and a bottle suspected to contain nitroglycerin, and there they wait for him to return.

Meanwhile, Carella is out on a case, trying to solve a locked room mystery. As usual, McBain weaves his story together wonderfully well, not wasting a word and bringing things eventually to a satisfying enough conclusion. This one feels a little bit contrived, to be honest, almost as if McBain was obliged to pen something but not sure where to take the series next. Nevertheless, McBain in slightly under par form is still way better than most crime writers operating today. Lean, no nonsense, and shot through with the black humour and slightly erotic, saucy writing that surely must have been slightly risque for the times, this is streets ahead of most stuff being churned out today under the label of police procedural. Enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the usual suspects...with a twist, 16 May 2013
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An overheated squad room.
A vengeful wife.
A suspicious death.
How far would you go defending the innocent?
A fast paced thriller, with sub stories running together. I really couldn't put this one down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 23 Jun. 2014
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Elaine Tomasso (Troon. Uk) - See all my reviews
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A locked room mystery and a siege in the bullpen. I found this book really gripping and just couldn't put it down. I loved the range of emotions covered in very spare prose during the siege and the fact that nobody picked up the coded messages as it was all very realistic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Killer's Wedge, 2 Dec. 2011
Carella investigates a 'locked room' murder involving a wealthy family, not realising that back at the 87th Precinct a young woman is holding his colleagues hostage. What she wants is Carella - dead.

One of the best 87th Precinct novels yet. The murder mystery strand may not be very satisfying (though the solution is memorable) but McBain gets a lot of mileage out of the hostage scenario, seemingly working through every possible escape plan the cops could come up with. Fast paced read, some decent tension and an ending which could have played down the threat but, thankfully, doesn't. Great read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Big Bang Theory, 26 May 2012
I read the 87th Precinct novels avidly as a teenager, but never this one - and it's a cracker! The tension is ramped up to torturous levels as an unexpected assassin awaits Steve Carella in the squad-room. Meanwhile, our hero is busy investigating an inexplicable suicide, and musing on impending fatherhood. All our favourite bulls are involved - Cotton Hawes with his white-streaked fiery hair, youthful Bert Kling, bald joker Meyer Meyer, and long-suffering Artie Brown, whilst McBain's prose is fast-paced, personal, and at times electric. Great stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Killer's Wedge, 11 Mar. 2014
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I rated this book with 5 stars because it is a well written enjoyable read.
I would recommend it to all who like an interesting story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fizzing with tension, 10 Dec. 2014
By 
Ian Barker (Bolton, UK) - See all my reviews
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Tightly plotted and fizzing with tension, the novel takes place over just a few hours. Most of the action occurs in a single room as a group of detectives are held hostage by a crazed woman.

Despite being written in the 1950s this book doesn't feel dated at all. In fact it could teach many modern novelists a thing or two about economical story telling. The story is a straightforward one but it will keep you on the edge of your seat right the way to the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 18 Mar. 2014
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It's gripping, very gritty, very absorbing. A true page turner. Ed McBain is a master of thrillers, you're never disappointed.
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Killer's Wedge (87th Precinct)
Killer's Wedge (87th Precinct) by Ed McBain (Paperback - 12 Mar. 2013)
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