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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lurid but beautiful, engrossing yet repellent.
Ed McBain was well into his long series of 87th Precinct books by the time the time he produced this one in 1983. This one is longer than most and has a huge cast. Social groups depicted include theatre personnel, drug dealers, diamond merchants, and of course the familiar 87th precinct cops. Accordingly, there are a huge number of suspects for the reader, and possibly...
Published on 23 Sept. 2003 by John Austin

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Prefer Hill Street Blues
This is one of a large number of '87th Precinct' novels which are meant to typify the 'police procedural' genre of crime writing. It is strikingly reminiscent of the TV programme 'Hill Street Blues' using an ensemble cast. If you like that programme this is very much for you.

The core murder story is told well without ever gripping and I have to confess it...
Published on 6 Jun. 2009 by Officer Dibble


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lurid but beautiful, engrossing yet repellent., 23 Sept. 2003
By 
John Austin "austinjr@bigpond.net.au" (Kangaroo Ground, Australia) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Ed McBain was well into his long series of 87th Precinct books by the time the time he produced this one in 1983. This one is longer than most and has a huge cast. Social groups depicted include theatre personnel, drug dealers, diamond merchants, and of course the familiar 87th precinct cops. Accordingly, there are a huge number of suspects for the reader, and possibly the author, to finally attach to the various crimes committed.
Binding together all the disparate elements is the symbol ice. It represents the drugs that lie behind many of the crimes, it coats the night streets of New York where many of the crimes are committed, it seems to run through the veins of many of the dealers, rapists, charlatans and cheats that are encountered here, and its fragility typifies the fragility of law and order and even decent relationships in this so-called centre of civilization.
Lurid yet often beautiful, engrossing yet often repellent, this is certainly a McBain book that can be included amongst his best.
Garrick Hagon has become expert at providing audio unabridged versions of McBain's books. He estimates and provides the correct tone perfectly. His 1998 reading of this book, duration ten and a half hours, is one of the best in the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hot And Cold, 23 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Ice (87th Precinct) (Kindle Edition)
“Carella had learned early on in the game that if you wanted to survive as a cop, you either took nothing at all or you took everything that wasn’t nailed down. Accept a cup of coffee on the arm from the guy who ran the local diner? Fine. Then also take a bribe from the neighbourhood fence who was running a tag sale on stolen goods every Sunday morning. A slightly dishonest cop was the same thing as a slightly pregnant woman.”
I came across a copy of Ice by Ed McBain on the table of books being sold off by my library. The name’s familiar and the cover interesting, so I figured it was a chance worth taking. I didn’t pay much and the book was worth that at least.
I’m in two minds about it. There are some wonderful aspects to the novel and there are some unappealing ones, too.
It opens strongly with the murder of a young dancer as she returns home in the snow. The key to the killing in terms of the investigation is that the weapon was also used in the shooting of a small-time drugs dealer named Paco Lopez.
There’s a leap from here into a police station, the 87th Precinct. There’s a heavily pregnant prostitute, a cell full of vocal drunks and a cast of police officers as long as the law’s arm. I thought immediately of Hill Street Blues in terms of the feel of the station. What is much more difficult to settle into on the page as opposed to on the screen is the chopping and changing from one place to another. McBain flicks between one point-of-view to another without warning. I found that to be disconcerting and it had me re-reading at several points to catch the change.
This shifting from one head to another carries on throughout the book. I did get used to it, but never really was entirely convinced by the style. It’s not a matter of weaving together separate strands of a story, but it’s more of a scattergun approach.
There are also big changes of pace to cope with. The case of the murders itself is totally engaging, the back-stories and tangents often less so.
In contrast to that, there are some big pluses. The characters of the main detectives are well drawn, particularly that of Carella.
There are also some great crooks. Brother Anthony and the razor slashing Emma are rather special and might well be right up there in the all-time-baddies Hall Of Fame.
Throw in some great lines and a pretty engaging investigation and, in the end, I’m glad I passed that library table.
I enjoyed my visit to the 87th Precinct and I’m sure I’ll go there again, only not in any great hurry.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Prefer Hill Street Blues, 6 Jun. 2009
By 
Officer Dibble (Zummerzet) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This is one of a large number of '87th Precinct' novels which are meant to typify the 'police procedural' genre of crime writing. It is strikingly reminiscent of the TV programme 'Hill Street Blues' using an ensemble cast. If you like that programme this is very much for you.

The core murder story is told well without ever gripping and I have to confess it required a dose of determination to persevere to the end. It struck me as an author going through the motions with another one to pay the mortgage. That is not to say it is bad, just routine.

Mr McBain creates an excellent villain in the mad monk Brother Anthony with his obese girlfriend Emma. It indicates the problem with this novel that I wished he could have developed these characters rather than dispose of them as the baddies.

I finished this wishing I had rather watched a good one and half hour film version than have expended the seemingly endless hours it took to get into, stay with and then finish the book. Disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ice Creme De La Creme., 23 Feb. 2011
By 
Duluoz Lautrec (Dewsbury, Yorkshire.) - See all my reviews
I can't say that I've read any other '87th Precint' novels so I can't say whether it's the best or worst but I thoroughly enjoyed 'Ice', as another reviewer said, it has quite a bit in common with the likes of 'Hill Street Blues' and 'Third Watch' and it's a little like 'The Wire' without the fruity language.
It's written in the third person so you get all sides of the story of 2 seemingly unconnected murders both commited with the same gun and the book clocks in at around 300 pages and with McBain's fluid style, it's hard to put down, you just want to knock off another chapter, then another, then another...
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5.0 out of 5 stars great detective novels, 5 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Ice (87th Precinct) (Kindle Edition)
I love the Ed McBain 87th precinct novels and bought 20 when there was a 'special' kindle daily deal.
It is great to follow the same characters in each book, they all take part in stories to a greater or lesser extent except Steve Carella who is a central pin but they all appear often.
I am glad Ed McBain wasn't encouraged to kill him off early in the series.
All the books are good thriller/cop stories/mysteries.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Too many words, 29 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Ice (87th Precinct) (Kindle Edition)
I have never read a book with so many unnecessary words in it. Several times I put it down as verbal diarrhoea but for my own sake I had to continue reading it to the very End. I was taught as a young child never to leave a book unfinished. I am now 79 !! So few books not finished. But this book nearly got me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A seriously twisty turney plot, 24 Mar. 2014
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M. Taplin "mikekoi" (Weston-super-Mare, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ice (87th Precinct) (Kindle Edition)
An ex-dancer. lies on the pavement, bleeding into the snow. The detectives of the 87th precinct are learning a multimillion dollar scam when they find diamonds in a dead mans vest. As the detectives search for evidence, a killer is one step ahead, and the search still goes on
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, 12 Jan. 2014
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I have read most of the 87th precinct books and find them easy to read. They are quite short but I like the characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 20 Nov. 2013
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One of the few crime writers I love reading, his 87th precinct stories are all good and believable, the characters all seem human and you can relate to them all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great 87th precinct novel, 27 Sept. 2013
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A dancer is gunned down on her way home and then 3more victims follow a good McBain novel and recommended
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Ice (87th Precinct)
Ice (87th Precinct) by Ed McBain
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