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On a bitterly cold night a police patrolman finds a young Hispanic drug dealer dead in a basement apartment There s a rope around the boy s neck, tied to the bars over the window There s also a used syringe on the table next to the body It s such a miserable effort to disguise a murder as a suicide that Steve Carella and the other detectives of the 87th Precinct can t even figure out why someone made the effort, especially when it becomes clear that the victim actually died of an overdose.Any On a bitterly cold night a police patrolman finds a young Hispanic drug dealer dead in a basement apartment There s a rope around the boy s neck, tied to the bars over the window There s also a used syringe on the table next to the body It s such a miserable effort to disguise a murder as a suicide that Steve Carella and the other detectives of the 87th Precinct can t even figure out why someone made the effort, especially when it becomes clear that the victim actually died of an overdose.Any number of people might have wanted the pusher dead, including the new dealer who takes over his territory But then other people begin dying and an anonymous caller informs Carella s boss, Lt Pete Burns, that the fingerprints on the syringe discovered next to the body belong to no one other than the Lieutenant s own son.This is a pretty good, if very dated, book in Ed McBain s long running 87th Precinct series It s a good mystery and its fun to watch Carella and the other detectives work through the investigation This is also a very interesting book in the series because of something that McBain reveals in the afterward Fans of the series will be sure to want to read it Now this islike it It seems for years I ve been reading about the 87th Precinct series what a groundbreaker it was and how Ed McBain has been such an influence on writers of mysteries since the 1950s when this series started But after reading the first two entries in the series, I confess I was disappointed As far as I could see they were mostly just interesting for their historical value, but I didn t find them particularly entertaining.Then I picked up The Pusher, third in the serie Now this islike it It seems for years I ve been reading about the 87th Precinct series what a groundbreaker it was and how Ed McBain has been such an influence on writers of mysteries since the 1950s when this series started But after reading the first two entries in the series, I confess I was disappointed As far as I could see they were mostly just interesting for their historical value, but I didn t find them particularly entertaining.Then I picked up The Pusher, third in the series He had me with the first sentence And with the first couple of pages of that wonderfully evocative description of the city in winter, I was hooked I could have read the book in one sitting, except I had to stop and do other things for a while I rushed back to it as quickly as I could It seemed to me that McBain really hit his stride with this book The 87th Precinct and the city began to come to life for me I began to care about the characters.The story starts with a patrolman walking a beat a few days before Christmas It is bone numbingly cold He sees a light that shouldn t be there and goes to investigate and finds a young Hispanic man s body in a tenement basement There is a rope around his neck and a syringe on the cot beside him At first, it appears to be a suicide, but an autopsy reveals he had a massive dose of heroin which actually killed him and the rope around his neck was not tied in a way that the victim could have done it It was murder.Detective Steve Carella and newly minted detective Bert Kling catch the initial assignment Carella has a lot of questions about the scene of the crime Why was it set up as an obviously phony hanging There are fingerprints all over the syringe that was found but whose are they There is no record of them in police files The victim was a penny ante pusher of heroin Who was his supplier As Carella and the other detectives pursue answers to those questions and others, another murder occurs This time it is a young Hispanic woman, a known prostitute She was savagely slashed Much of her blood had drained away before she was discovered and taken to the hospital, but she did not survive and was not able to speak Turns out that she was the sister of the first victim which only raisesquestions.Carella hits the streets in search of the dead pusher s possible supplier a punk who goes by the name of Gonzo Meanwhile, Lieutenant Byrnes of the Precinct is receiving phone calls implicating his teenage son in the crimes He must make the decision of whether or not to reveal this to Carella as he struggles to save his drug addicted son As the painfully slow step by step process of sorting evidence and following up clues continues, there will be evendrama for the 87th Precinct when another dead body turns up and then one of their own is shot This is engrossing stuff I didn t want to put the book down until all the issues were resolved.Interestingly, in an afterword, McBain reveals that the ending of the story was not the one that he originally wrote His publisher argued against that ending and convinced him to change it Good decision.The writing here is just sparkling I found myself rereading descriptive passages time and again, just for the pure pleasure of the way the words were strung together Okay, I do begin to see why so many writers of mysteries revere Ed McBain When the body of a junkie is found in a tenement basement, the 87th is on a hunt to find out who sold him the stuff that killed him The whole mess hits just a little too close to home for one of the detectives.Once again, I LOVE the way McBain describes weather Winter came in like an anarchist with a bomb Wild, shrieking, puffing hard, it caught the city in cold, froze the marrow and froze the heart.The wind roared under eaves and tore around corners, lifting hats and lifting skirts, caressing When the body of a junkie is found in a tenement basement, the 87th is on a hunt to find out who sold him the stuff that killed him The whole mess hits just a little too close to home for one of the detectives.Once again, I LOVE the way McBain describes weather Winter came in like an anarchist with a bomb Wild, shrieking, puffing hard, it caught the city in cold, froze the marrow and froze the heart.The wind roared under eaves and tore around corners, lifting hats and lifting skirts, caressing warm thighs with icy cold fingers The citizens blew on their hands and lifted their coat collars and tightened their mufflers They had been enmeshed in the slow dying lethargy of autumn, and now winter was upon them, rapping their teeth with knuckles of ice.If only the local weatherman was as articulatethough I d settle for accurate.This edition of the book has an interesting afterward by McBain view spoiler This title was to be Steve Carella s swan song McBain killed him BUT his agent and editor were aghast And insistent And as the bells ring on Christmas Day, Carella gets to live, and all is right with the world Until the next book hide spoiler A not infrequent occurrence in any city on any day in the modern era A junkie is found dead in his apartment with a used syringe on the floor next to him The detectives of the 87th Precinct might have consigned this case to a shelf pronto were it not for the noose around the victim s neck, giving the first impression of suicide.There is nothing usual about this case, from the cause of death to a list of suspects that includes the son of one of the 87th Precinct s longstanding detectives This A not infrequent occurrence in any city on any day in the modern era A junkie is found dead in his apartment with a used syringe on the floor next to him The detectives of the 87th Precinct might have consigned this case to a shelf pronto were it not for the noose around the victim s neck, giving the first impression of suicide.There is nothing usual about this case, from the cause of death to a list of suspects that includes the son of one of the 87th Precinct s longstanding detectives This isn t a long book McBain tells his stories succinctly and well These books can be read as standalones, but there are rewards for those who read them in order rewards being able to see the development of some of the main characters First published in 1956, The Pusher is the 3rd book in Ed McBain s 87th Precinct police procedural series I find it hard to believe, myself, that I rated this book 5 stars, but for its small size, it packs a great punch.The 87th Precinct is set in a fictional US city and features the cops and detectives of the 87th Precinct In this edition, they and the city they protect are preparing for Xmas The story starts with Detective Steve Carella and his partner, newly promoted Detective King called First published in 1956, The Pusher is the 3rd book in Ed McBain s 87th Precinct police procedural series I find it hard to believe, myself, that I rated this book 5 stars, but for its small size, it packs a great punch.The 87th Precinct is set in a fictional US city and features the cops and detectives of the 87th Precinct In this edition, they and the city they protect are preparing for Xmas The story starts with Detective Steve Carella and his partner, newly promoted Detective King called out to a seeming suicide The body belongs to a young Puerto Rican addict who is found dead with a rope around his neck To Carella, it seems to pat and he suspects that the boy has been murdered.This begins a fascinating case involving drug dealing, an addicted Police Lt s son who may be involved in the murders, possible black mailing and other murders The story moves along at a nice pace, mainly following Carella s investigation but also covering his boss, Lt Byrnes as he must deal with issues surrounding his son.It sthan just an investigation, although having said that, there are interesting pieces of forensic work and excellent interrogations that are realistic and well crafted But you also get into the personal lives of the detectives Carella s relationship with is lovely wife Teddy and Byrnes troubled but powerful relationship with his wife and son Even minor characters such as Carella s informant Danny Gimp are turned into real people I loved the dedication of the police I loved how McBain took time to present the city and the people who lived there The story ended emotionally for me The story was only 158 pages but it grabbed me from the very beginning and held me engrossed from beginning to end I ve now read the first 3 books in the series and each and everyone has been excellent 5 stars Review from Badelynge.An early 87th Precinct story This one promises rathernoir than it actually delivers Its opening pages are the hook that tries its darndest to stop you putting the book back onto the spindle and choosing some othertempting paperback And even though it s many decades since this one saw anything other than thrift sale piles or charity shop boxes, I can appreciate why McBain lays it on so thick at the start The city sounded like such a dark and shadow infested p Review from Badelynge.An early 87th Precinct story This one promises rathernoir than it actually delivers Its opening pages are the hook that tries its darndest to stop you putting the book back onto the spindle and choosing some othertempting paperback And even though it s many decades since this one saw anything other than thrift sale piles or charity shop boxes, I can appreciate why McBain lays it on so thick at the start The city sounded like such a dark and shadow infested place on those pages and cold, man it s cold The citizens grinned into the wind, but the wind was not in a smiling mood After that it gets down to business, the shadows are swept aside and the cold only nips at the narrative infrequently as McBain gets down to populating his police procedural with interesting characters That is the real strength of these books just well thought out and realised characters, which doesn t stint with even the minor cast I ve heard all the comparisons to Dragnet but I d be pulling the wool over your eyes if I agreed with them as I ve barely seenthan an episode of that old series So I ll stick with what I do know, throw my cards down on the table and say it most put me in mind of On Dangerous Ground a classic noir film from the 50s starring Robert Ryan, which in turn was an adaptation of an old noir pulp by Gerald Butler The early scenes set in the city do sing 87th Precinct at me And I could draw a little parallel with Carella s romance with his deaf mute wife Teddy to Robert Ryan s character falling for Ida Lupino s blind girl I think it s true that screen writers and novelists were feeding on each other voraciously in the 40s and 50s, several of the 87th Precinct novels made it to the big screen itself, as well as a short half life tv series which is largely forgotten This one is a strong entry in the series It s strongest in the heat of the character dialogue, which is very naturalist If you saw them acted out you would assume the actors were improvising or in some reality show sequence It s weakest when McBain starts constructing his torturous ironic word plays.There s also a historic element for modern readers to enjoy, because even though though the stories take place in an imaginary city it can t hide being a city made up of amalgams of New York in the 50s It s probably afaithful representative of police procedures than a lot of today s detective fiction can claim, and McBain isn t shy of relating the technical minutiae of 50s forensics I d recommend this series to anybody who liked the first 20 minutes of On Dangerous Ground and fans of Dragnet or Hill Street Blues, though it s a nightmare trying to dig these things up cheaply over half a century since they first gave us a twirl on those paperback spindles I never cared much about reading Ed McBain and his 87th Precinct novels I didn t care much for the Cop on the beat character All those hard, cynical, worn out Detectives yelling and beating up suspects in the back room I didn t like the big city backdrop, all those neighborhood bars, neon lights, dreary tenements I didn t care for the side characters the pimps, prostitutes, grinning thugs with their shiny knives, the down and outs, the ne er do wells, the grieving moms in their faded dresses I never cared much about reading Ed McBain and his 87th Precinct novels I didn t care much for the Cop on the beat character All those hard, cynical, worn out Detectives yelling and beating up suspects in the back room I didn t like the big city backdrop, all those neighborhood bars, neon lights, dreary tenements I didn t care for the side characters the pimps, prostitutes, grinning thugs with their shiny knives, the down and outs, the ne er do wells, the grieving moms in their faded dresses saying their little boy wouldn t do anything like that No, none of that crap.But, I was younger, I was quick to judge, I was ignorant So I missed reading a lot of good books Now I m older, wiser, a better man and I m trying to be a better mystery reader So, I m going to readof these, cause their good And, all I m gonna ask of you, is that if you haven t already read this guy, then please by all means, avoid the mistakes of a younger man.Amen *Free ⇔ The Pusher ☊ Most suicides don t realise the headaches they cause An th Precinct novel This was oncea nice easy read an interesting story populated with likable and well rounded characters Where the 87th Precinct series is falling down for me after the extremely positive first installment is the lack of depth to the crimes or the investigation.There s nothing amazing about any of it really The opening paragraph is incredibly evocative prose that I hadn t expected to find and immediately hoped for a lotof it in the rest of the book but aside from the chapter on the b This was oncea nice easy read an interesting story populated with likable and well rounded characters Where the 87th Precinct series is falling down for me after the extremely positive first installment is the lack of depth to the crimes or the investigation.There s nothing amazing about any of it really The opening paragraph is incredibly evocative prose that I hadn t expected to find and immediately hoped for a lotof it in the rest of the book but aside from the chapter on the beat cop feeling the cold before he finds the first body the rest of the novel is pretty ordinary in its lyricism.The ensemble in the 87th grows with each book, leaving Carella as a central character but not overly prominent and Kling virtually nonexistent, addingon the Lieutenant who runs the division But it seems we were only treated to this insight in to the big boss man because it was convenient to have ANOTHER storyline involving a relative of one of the cops and on top of that Carella is shown to be quite stupid in his following of the suspect and for the third book in a row I think a cop gets shot This stuff is an infuriatingly easy device from McBain and if it happens in the 4th book I shall sell the other 20 in the series that I ve picked up so far without even reading them.I like it, but I wantfrom a 50 book series to warrant giving so much time to it Reading a series in order What a concept why didn t I think of it Well, full disclosure, I ve been reading 87th precinct novels for quite some time out of order, of course But recently, I ve begun the series from the beginning, and it s a hoot.The Pusher is the 3rd in the series, and it s really interesting to see how McBain began with the notion of an ensemble cast of detectives that would be interchangeable, with no featured hero or singular protagonist Well, read this book and in the Reading a series in order What a concept why didn t I think of it Well, full disclosure, I ve been reading 87th precinct novels for quite some time out of order, of course But recently, I ve begun the series from the beginning, and it s a hoot.The Pusher is the 3rd in the series, and it s really interesting to see how McBain began with the notion of an ensemble cast of detectives that would be interchangeable, with no featured hero or singular protagonist Well, read this book and in the afterword you ll find a very interesting note from McBain re how his original plan became somewhat modified If nothing else, this little bit from the author makes the book worthwhile But, for me at least, it s every bit worth the while McBain s ear for dialogue was apparent early on and the cast of the 87th precinct becomesfamiliar to the reader, Steve Carella in particular.The story is a good, if not great, one The setting and the characters, all fully palpable, show off McBain s talent This is a definite for fans of the series If you re just getting your feet wet, well, there are better entries, but fear not, you can always come back and read the whole shebang in order afterwards