Sunday, January 27, 2013

COP HATER by Ed McBain

Ed McBain’s Cop Hater is the first book in the 87th precinct series.

Someone kills three 87th Precinct cops. The murders occur individually, all with the same gun. The last murder, the murder of Steve Carella’s partner, breaks the case open.

Meanwhile, as in all the 87th Precinct books, the police pursue dead end leads. They lead tumultuous personal lives. (In this book, Carella courts and marries Teddy.) And the weather (this time hot mid-summer) plays a role.

The topper in this book is that Carella makes a terrible mistake. He almost costs another life.

As I’ve said before, Ed McBain is my favorite writer. I read all the 87th precinct books. McBain wrote this one in the 1950’s. I read it later when I first became acquainted with the series.

Amazon offered Cop Hater as an inexpensive e-book on special so I decided to reread it.

One thing I like about the early Ed McBains is that they are short. He talks about that in his introduction to this book. He gives some history of how the series came about, and then he says that later in the series, publishers required longer books. The first books took about one month to write.

Evan Hunter also talks about why he chose the pseudonym Ed McBain.

Given the ending of the book, McBain’s title is ironic.

This was a great start to a great series. I will always be thankful for Ed McBain.

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