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Heckle Me Pink
on 17 February 2014
I've been a fan of Ed McBain for the longest time. He's one of the crime-writing greats. His novels are never deep, emotionally gruelling, sprawling, twisting, convoluted epics of emotion and love and death--which I usually like--but instead, they're mostly concise, fast-paced, funny, smart, twisty, crime procedurals; like CSI but with actual characters and snappy dialogue, rather than boring, generic cardboard cut-outs.
Even his "bad" books are entertaining.
The Heckler, thankfully, was one of his better efforts.
Essentially, aside from the usual police procedural stuff, it's the story of "the deaf man", a sadistic logician/mathematician serial-killing ultra-thief super-squirmy recurring character (this is his first appearance, but he crops up in many of the later books in the series), who sets up an elaborate plot to steal two-million-plus dollars from a bank. That's the main section of the plot, and it links throughout the rest of the novel.
As usual with McBain, this was a quick read--I think I read it in two or three days--and it has some great, humorous dialogue, which helps the plot move along swiftly. The characters aren't filled out as much as they are in other books, but it doesn't detract from the read. My only real issue, I guess, was the ending. It seemed a little abrupt and as if McBain just wanted to tie it up in a nice bow, finish it, and get it over with.
It's not a standout book, but it's an enjoyable read; something to pass the time. Start at the beginning and work your way through the series.