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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 November 2004
This, this first novel of McBain's 87th Precinct, is the one that set him on the path to greatness. Before I read it, I'd heard vaguely of him, but wasn't exactly rushing to start a series with over 50 entries. Now THAT, is impressive. In the 40 years plus since this series began, McBain has written a huge number of them, enough to make it [probably] the longest police procedural series ever. It also has the unique twist that there is no central character, but a squad-room full of them who are built upon book-by-book.
I read this book rather timorously, I was expecting it to be okay, no fireworks. To some extent, that's true - there are no fireworks, exactly, but it was so incredibly entertaining to read that I've now purchased every single entry that's currently available in Britain, and have started to gobble them up. So far, I highly recommend every single one.
McBain uses everything: forensics, psychology, melodrama, character, etc etc, to move his stories along. They're snappy, fizz with energy and wit, small bites of sarcasm, and are superbly enjoyable. That's as good a thing as can be said about a novel, really. This first entry is a rather simple story concerning a killer who seems out to get the boys of the 87th Precinct, but it clips along at a great pace, introduces us to some brilliant characters who just get better as the series progresses, and makes a brilliant tapestry of police investigation. I loved it. (Obviously, that's why I bought the rest.)
If you've never tried McBain before, this is an ideal place to start now that Orion seems to be reissuing them all, after having been out of print for so long. It's not a series which demands to be read in order, either (at least, I haven't, and I don't feel I'm loosing anything much) - which is a bonus, because attempting to read a 50+ entry series in order would b a rather daunting task.
McBain is certainly the master of this kind of American crime novel. I've never enjoyed a set of police procedural books more (well, apart from those of Henning Mankell). Pick one up today, because you won't regret it.
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on 3 May 2004
This is the first book in a series of approximately 55 or so (and still counting!) McBain introduces you to the detectives of the 87th Precinct, particularly Carella, Meyer and Kling who feature heavily in the rest of this wonderful crime series.
The book opens with a cop murdered in cold blood with no clues as to who did it, as the detectives are left reeling over this mindless killing, another is killed, again with no real clues or suspects.
It's not a deep book where there are so many twists and turns that you get confused, but it carries enough weight to keep your interest up - I loved it and have since collected nearly all of the 87th series.
Can't recommend Cop Hater highly enough!
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This is the very first of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novels and was first published in the US in 1956 (although it wasn't released in the UK until 1958). In the introduction, Ed McBain explains how the series came about and why he decided to base the books on a squadroom of police detectives, as opposed to one particular hero, and why he opted for an anonymous city, loosely based on New York. Does it matter that the book is now somewhat dated, that the slang is obviously from another era and that the characters hardly age as you read through the series? Not at all. Ed McBain created a whole world around these characters and, if you do read this series, you will get to know, and love, them.

One of the main characters in this series is Steve Carella, who appears in this first novel. There is a heat wave in the city and the detectives are faced with enough problems when a member of the squad is gunned down in an apparently motiveless murder. When another detective is also shot, it is apparent that there is someone targeting the 87th Precinct - but why and who? If things were not bad enough, the press have their own ideas about the murders which make a bad situation infinitely worse. This is a fantastic start to a very long running series which, unlike most, just gets better and better.
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on 13 February 2017
There's no-one better for American police procedurals than Ed Mc Bain. Read them all years ago. Just as enjoyable this time around. Must be good - in the last month I collected the first twelve, seven of which I've now read. I shall have to order more soon. The classy new reprints help too.
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on 16 June 2013
This book was originally written a long time ago, which unfortunately meant that the forensics were massively out of date. However, if u bear this in mind it does not matter and does not detract from the storyline.

I enjoyed the book, the characterisation was very good and believable. All about policemen and how, in the fifties, policemen went about solving crimes, now policemen use their famous 'hunches' and how they act upon those feelings/ideas that make them into good police officers.

A good twist at the end that I never saw coming. This was a good book, just out of date, but considering what I paid for it, was a good thriller.
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on 14 March 2013
Fantastic to see Ed McBain's 87th Precinct finally make it to kindle. Shame it's only bits and pieces of the series so far ..... You can read the first two but then the 3rd one isn't available yet.

This is great stuff - short and pithy. Bit old fashioned possibly, but stick with the series and watch whilst the decades go by but the characters age very little! "Cop Hater" is definitely the place to start - you'll meet all the key players in the series in a story that might not be the most original but has a nice little twist!
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on 8 October 2013
This book was a very good easy read. I read the book in a few hours. Ed McBain writes very differently to others putting a lot of details in to characters and situations that makes the book more interesting. The book is as the title suggests, a man on the loose killing cops. I couldn't have predicted the twist in the story which makes the book even better. A must read.
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on 3 May 2013
I have read most of the 87th precinct novels ( years ago) and I am ecstatic that they are now coming onto kindle.
OMG I cant wait for the rest to come on board so that I can read again about Bert Kling, Steve Carella and the rest of the detectives.
The deaf man is one to watch out for.
By the way, Steve's wife is an amazing addition to the sub plot and if you can read them in order you will fall in love with them all.
These books were of course the ones which led to the creation of tv programmes like Hill Street Blues etc.
Ed Mc Bain's real name(poss) is Evan Hunter. read his books. Brill. Budwing and the blackboard Jungle are the best 2 books ever.
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on 20 February 2015
Badly written over described anti climax the worst book I have read period not recommended. The story should have been exciting but author made it very boring glad it's finally over would not recommend.
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on 5 July 2013
Light on details and characterisation. If you're used to recent American crime writers this has little of interest but passes a few hours. Dated.
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