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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Crime, Better Than Most Modern Novels
Thing is about Ed McBain, he never misses the mark. Every one of his 87th Precinct novels are winners, being short, snappy, extremely readable recitations of noir-esque crime at its coolest and least predicable. The stories move so fast you end up reading the whole thing in one sitting, and with the length of some, such as "Killer's Choice", that is no bad thing. This...
Published on 19 July 2010 by B. Turnbull

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars critics' choice?
As said elsewhere, yes: short 'n' snappy. Does the job. It's effective, efficient, even entertaining. One can imagine the author as extremely good company: the writing comes easily, the story rattles along, he clearly writes as he speaks - fluently and amusingly ... but perhaps not very profoundly. And this is now a period piece, without quite yet achieving 'historical...
Published 19 months ago by JK


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Crime, Better Than Most Modern Novels, 19 July 2010
By 
B. Turnbull (Newcastle, England) - See all my reviews
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Thing is about Ed McBain, he never misses the mark. Every one of his 87th Precinct novels are winners, being short, snappy, extremely readable recitations of noir-esque crime at its coolest and least predicable. The stories move so fast you end up reading the whole thing in one sitting, and with the length of some, such as "Killer's Choice", that is no bad thing. This book in particular features his usual cast, with Hawes and Carella leading the way. Very smart and funny prose will keep the pages turning, as will the slick double narrative, and despite genre masters like Michael Connelly and Robert Crais stealing all the limelight these days, fans of hard boiled crime fiction need to go back and discover not just this novel, but the whole damn series. Every one, a superb read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars critics' choice?, 27 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Killer's Choice (87th Precinct) (Kindle Edition)
As said elsewhere, yes: short 'n' snappy. Does the job. It's effective, efficient, even entertaining. One can imagine the author as extremely good company: the writing comes easily, the story rattles along, he clearly writes as he speaks - fluently and amusingly ... but perhaps not very profoundly. And this is now a period piece, without quite yet achieving 'historical novel' status. The milieu of late-fifties NYC seems dated, and its inhabitants with it (I mean: a baby-faced cop, ironically described as looking 'about as old as Elvis Presley'!). There are universals in police procedural, for sure, but there is little here to excite a new reader. The plot, too, while clever(-ish), is, shall we say, formulaic, to the point of predictable.

Perhaps I shouldn't have started here?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Havilland's Last Stand, 5 Jan. 2013
By 
Michael Finn (Blackburn, Lancashire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Killers Choice (Paperback)
Killer's Choice has a couple of notable landmarks which include the last appearance by hard-as-nails cop, Detective Roger Havilland. He's found in the broken remains of a grocery store window after an apparent hold-up, fatally injured by a shard of glass. Steve Carella follows a lead to track down the killer but is joined by the newly transferred Cotton Hawes. Carella soon discovers that Hawes is having trouble adapting from the more genteel surroundings of his previous posting compared to the mean streets patrolled by the 87th. Trouble that just might get somebody killed.
Meanwhile Detectives Bert Kling and Meyer Meyer have to track down another killer from a suspected hold-up, this time at a liquor store. The detectives soon discover that the victim, a beautiful redhead, seems to have lived a variety of lives depending on who they question. Thematically not as strong as Con Man, the previous entry, but Killer's Choice still right royally entertains with some character driven dialogue that's going to please any fan of the series. Every book seems to add something new
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Homicide with Period Charm?, 18 Dec. 2010
By 
Gs-trentham - See all my reviews
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Before The Bill there was Z Cars, and before Z Cars there was Dixon of Dock Green. Across the Atlantic, before The Wire there was the still-missed Hill Street Blues, and before Hill Street Blues there was Ed McBain's 87th Precinct, print rather than pixels but the genealogy was the same.

If it is still something of a shock to discover that Killer's Choice, the fifth in the 87th Precinct series, was first published more than fifty years ago, there are clues. Not least when a young woman is innocently described as "Dancing, and laughing, and well ... gay." There are four-letter words, too, but none that will disturb the eyebrow of today's reader.

So there is almost a sense of period charm as Carella and Kling and Hawes set about solving the mysterious murder of a young woman whose multiple personality is unveiled chapter by chapter but never explained. A crucial witness in the investigation is a five-year-old girl who cannot tell the time but recounts from memory a telephone conversation that requires nearly five pages to report.

Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain) is never dull but his prolific output under this and half-a-dozen pseudonyms led inevitably to occasional slapdash plotting. The 87th Precinct has better tales in its archive than this.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True to McBain, an excellent book, 21 Aug. 2001
By A Customer
This is definitely true McBain vintage ... and excellent and gripping story which keeps you guessing until the end. The ending is a little abrupt but the rest of the book more than makes up for it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A cookie-cutter McBain, 8 April 2011
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This is a perfectly acceptable 87th Precinct novel with all the usual suspects. It's a bit of a fun read, quick and undemanding - perfect if you're in the terminal waiting for your flight to be called. Some examples of the series feel like they were were written about as fast as you can read them, and this is one. It stands out not one whit from the others. The personal asides regarding the main characters are fairly detailed because the crimes are pretty pedestrian and even the cops can't work up much enthusiasm for solving them. So long as you are not looking for complex plotting, detailed characterization, or elegant prose, you'll probably get some enjoyment out of this novel.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Killer's Choice, 6 Aug. 2011
Detective Kling investigates the shooting of a young woman at her place of work. There seem to be plenty of suspects and motives but which is the right one?d

Definitely below-par McBain. The story is ok but McBain seems to be trying out a different 'style' which results in some clumsy prose and unfunny jokes. This lacks the usual atmosphere of the 87th Precinct novels and is certainly not the place to start if you're interested in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good cop novel, 5 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Killer's Choice (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner, 22 Jun. 2014
By 
Elaine Tomasso (Troon. Uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Killer's Choice (87th Precinct) (Kindle Edition)
Yes it's dated and yes the plot, the murder of a shop assistant and in a separate incident a detective, is rather straightforward in comparison with densely plotted modern equivalents but what it has to say is still relevant and the way it is said is wonderful - spare, sharp prose laced with humour and camaraderie. A joy to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly below par early McBain title, 19 Mar. 2014
By 
Jl Adcock "John Adcock" (Ashtead UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Killer's Choice (87th Precinct) (Kindle Edition)
Killer's Choice is a slightly below par early addition to the fabulous 87th Precinct series. It still rattles along pacily enough, and notably in this one McBain really extended the use of dialogue between characters to give some of it a bullet-point, film script feel, but overall it feels a tiny bit predictable in places.

Easily read in a couple of sittings, the story remains head and shoulders above most stuff being churned out these days though. Current practitioners of the genre would do well to remind themselves that a cracking crime story - complete with well-rounded characters, atmosphere and mood - can be told in well under 500 pages when it's done like this. Purveyors of bloated, gory (essentially Scottish noir) output take note.
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