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Showing 1-10 of 102 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 136 reviews
on May 21, 2014
I love Ed McBain. His books are serious, comic, irreverent and a joy to read. And its amazing the range he had with the 87th Precinct Books of which this is one — and the lawyer Matthew Hope to Blackboard Jungle, written as Evan Hunter.

This is the 12th in the percent books with all the usual characters -- working cops just trying to put away the bad guys. And they have come across an old nemesis they thought was dead. Steve Carella is dressed as a homeless man to catch teenagers who are setting homeless men on fire; he gets burned and he gets beat up. Meanwhile, the others on his team receive a threatening note that if someone is not paid $5,000, a commissioner will be killed -- and is. Then the note asks for more, to not kill the deputy mayor and in a spectacular bombing, he is killed. In the midst of all this the town of Isola is hit by one of the biggest storms in history, the police department is being painted by seemingly inept painters who spatter everything and finally, the cops come across an attempt to rob a tailor. And somehow, its at the tailor's where everything somehow comes to gather. Very much as you realize it probably happens for many crimes. The characters feel real and speak realistically, and you feel for them the whole time you're reading the book. Ed McBain/Evan Hunter was a genius. There are few authors I can say that for every time I open a book.
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on May 30, 2014
In Fuzz, a master criminal nicknamed the Deaf Man returns to bedevil the detectives of the 87th Precinct. As is often the case in this series, the weather plays an important part in the book. It's the middle of winter; the snow is deep, and the temperatures are freezing. It's not fit weather for man or beast, but the criminals are not taking the winter off and so neither can the police.

In one particularly aggravating series of crimes, someone is pouring gasoline on sleeping homeless men and then setting them on fire. Detective Steve Carella goes under cover in order to catch the killers, but this means he's going to spend a lot of time freezing in alleys and doorways, playing bait for the attackers. It won't be any fun at all, and it's going to be a particularly frustrating assignment.

While Carella is thus occupied, someone calls the 87th Precinct and demands that he be paid $5,000 or he will shoot the Parks Commissioner. Almost everyone, including the Parks Commissioner, assumes the call is a prank. Sadly it isn't, and after the Parks Commissioner is shot and killed, the caller, who turns out to be the old nemesis of the 87th, the Deaf Man, steps up his game and puts the city in a panic.

All in all, this is a very entertaining read that should appeal to the legions of fans who follow this series.
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on December 28, 2014
I am biased but I find that all of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novels are good and Fuzz is no exception. The earlier books are shorter and more succinct than the later ones. All of Mr. McBain's novels have two driving forces: great plots and great characters. I love the people of the 87th because they are so well written that I feel like I know them. Now Mr. McBain's plots remind me of Hill Street Blues before it got ruined. The 87th Precinct novels, when they start, give the impression that life started way before Page 1 and that life will continue after the Last Page. Ed McBain did not believe in wrapping up a novel into a neat little bow by the end. You know that cases had started before the major one and that cases will continue after, whether the main plot is done or not. Like Hill Street Blues's story arcs, these novels are called police procedurals for a reason. With the exception of the Deaf Man (the 87th's version of Professor Moriarty) and his nefarious machinations, all of the other cases, criminals, cops, snitches, etc. seem exceptionally real. The police procedures are real. The fact that every case is not solved is real. The fact that characters die is real. I love the people of the 87th. I want the criminals caught. I want the cops to succeed and survive. Ed McBain can be deep in his observations, conservative in his descriptions, generous in his dialogue, and humorous in everyday situations and even very dark ones. Are these novels everyone's cup of tea? No, no novel is, even those considered classic literature. I love these novels and one of my deepest regrets is that I never got to meet Evan Hunter before he passed away to thank him for the many, many hours of enjoyment I have realized from his work.
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on February 22, 2017
I enjoyed this book and got to liking the characters, the men of the 87th. I wanted to read the book after seeing the movie that was based on it. Right off let me say they are two different animals. The movie is okay, but the book is way better. There are no big gun battles between the Cops and Robbers most of it is just following the leads to solve the crimes. In this story there are three crimes that happen: a case of murder and extortion, a case of somebody attacking the homeless, and a case of armed robbery. Three separate events that just happen to cross paths with each other. Just how I won't say so grab a copy and hit the streets with the 87th Precinct and get ready to outsmart the bad guys.
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on September 4, 2016
Not sure why some of these reviews are about _Fuzz_, but _Shotgun_ is everything you expect from McBain: acutely dry humor, interesting and well-developed characters, fast-moving plot.
This is earlier 87th Precinct, the 12th book, I believe (1969). The series evolved and got better and better through the 70's, 80.s 90's and early 2000's. But in the earlier novels like this one, everything is in place. Mc Bain was on a roll!

Mc Bain is unquestionably the master of the genre.
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on June 9, 2013
One of McBain's 87th Precinct books, and one of the better ones. The hearing aid man returns and threatens to kill city officials unless he's paid not to. Also, intertwined with a couple of punks setting bums on fire and a caper involving robbing a tailor's shop (for an amount of money that is ridiculous even by 1968 standards, when the book was published) McBain creates a funny, suspenseful story and shows the workaday, tedious manner in which cops go about their work.

I only gave this digital version 3 stars because of the numerous misspelled words and missing punctuation marks, the result of a sloppy job publishing it in this format. Seemed hastily done and apparently RosettaBooks couldn't be bothered proof reading it first. The story itself though is very good.
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on July 11, 2015
Not the master's best, but still good enough to be a thoroughly enjoyable read. This is one of the few books in the 87th precinct series that I have not read before, so i grabbed the chance to buy the kindle version and was not disappointed. It is a short and simple story, but the writing is as sharp and witty as ever. If you are a Mcbain fan, you will not be disappointed. I gave it 4 stars because it is not one of his best. But by itself this is a five star book for the sheer writing talent.
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on May 7, 2015
Another amazing story set in times I can remember. Even though I read some of this series, I am
thoroughly enjoying the entire series this time and reading them in order builds the characters
as you see them grow and go through life's changes. The humor is great and the mysteries
are not contrived but actually read like we see them today in the news. Not everyone is great,
they all have difficulties and some rough spots, but you can accept them as real people.
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on May 13, 2014
Ed Mcbain fills his books with a lot of "cop type" activities....serious and comical. each officer has his own special personality so you like them or not! this book was fast paced with three serious problems the 87th Precinct had to solve..murders, robberies, and more murders. they of course solve these threats to their great city and the world is a safer place for all!!!! A fun read..especially the checker game in the dry cleaners that erupts in at least 5bad guys shot and one good guy. ED MCBAIN writes a great book.
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on September 9, 2013
Another great McBain 87th Precinct story --- I'm reading them all and I'm never disappointed. Great plot, sharp dialogue, smart commentary. The problem with this particular edition, published by RosettaBooks, is the terrible editing job --- mostly run-on sentences. Apparently whatever editor skimmed through this book had lost touch with the concept of periods to end sentences. I've read enough of McBain's books to know that he knew what periods were for.
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