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DanSchwent

Dantastic Book Reviews

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Cop Hater (Signet) - Ed McBain When a cop is cut down with a .45, Detectives Carella and Bush spring into action. But can they stop the killer before he kills again?

I was looking for another crime series to begin reading when the 87th Precinct series by Ed McBain caught my eye. I'd read one McBain book before, The Gutter and the Grave, and I enjoyed it enough to take a change on the long long long series of 87th Precinct books..

Cop Hater is a police procedural about someone killing cops, set in the fictional city of Isola. While it was written in the 1950's, women and minorities get better treatment in this book than in a lot of its contemporaries. Steve Carella, the lead character, is engaged to a beautiful deaf mute named Teddy, is something I didn't expect but McBain manages to make their relationship believable.

Cop Hater takes place during a heat wave and all of the characters have frayed nerves from the beginning. All of the cops wonder which of them will be next, as did this reader. One thing I liked is that while Carella is the lead, he's no super cop and no angel. While the mystery wasn't solveable, the killings made sense once the motivations behind them were explained.

It's a pretty quick read. I enjoyed it enough that I'll read the next couple but McBain wrote 50-something of these things so I'm not sure I'll attempt to ever read all of them.