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KILLER'S CHOICE (87th Precinct) Paperback – 1 Mar 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: ALLISON & BUSBY (1 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749080280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749080280
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 1.7 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,324,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Ed McBain was one of the pen names of successful and prolific crime fiction author Evan Hunter (1926-2005). Debuting in 1956, the popular 87th Precinct series is one of the longest running crime series ever published, featuring more than 50 novels, and is hailed as "one of the great literary accomplishments of the last half-century." McBain was awarded the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement in 1986 by the Mystery Writers of America and was the first American to receive the Cartier Diamond Dagger award from the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an interesting story with plenty of twists in the story both in the main character and in the path of the story, there were several changes in the main focus for the killer but it was not really unexpected, a shame.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: 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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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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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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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I've been reading these in order and this is the weakest so far. It's perfectly obvious who the murderer is from the first time they appear while at the same time the author creates a large number of layers of complexity and nuance which are never resolved. And his attempt at recreating the dialogue of a young child is so inept that not only does one wonder if he has ever spent any time with one as an adult, but one begins to doubt whether he'd even been a small child himself.
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