Customer Reviews: Fuzz (87th Precinct Mysteries Book 22)
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on January 12, 2001
The 87th Precinct in the fictional city of Isola is hopping...two murders in one day. The first, a married couple found dead in their apartment, unrecognizeable, two shotgun blasts to the face of each. The second, a middle-aged woman found on her kitchen floor with a bread knife sticking out of her chest. The hard-working detectives of the 87th tenaciously follow leads and clues as they circle closer and closer to the truth.....Shotgun is Ed McBain at his best and nobody does it better. This is a police procedural that has it all...great memorable characters, tight, compelling plot, spare, gritty writing and unrivaled, true to life dialogue. Easily read in one sitting, the story pulls you in from page one and doesn't let go. And after finishing Shotgun, it's easy to see why McBain is considered "the best crime writer in the business."
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on August 19, 2002
Fuzz is a five, to me anyway. There are really three stores going on at the same time. One is: someone is throwing gasoline on bums as they sleep and setting them on fire. Carella goes undercover for this one and gets burned himself. Another is: who is after John the Taylor? He is to be robbed but different people show up at the time of the robbery. The other story is the main one.A commissioner is killed after a threat. The Deputy Mayor is killed after a threat. The Mayor is to be next. The squad figures it is the "deaf man" again. All the 87th precinct people work on this. Carella considers him to be a "master criminal"--can he be caught???????? Read as the entire group try to bring this man to justice. As usual McBain writes so you can believe you are there.You get to where you have feelings for each officer and really think you know them. This is the 22nd book I have read by McBain and I think there was only one I did not like. The odds are pretty good you will like this one also.
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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 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 September 4, 2002
Another great one by Ed McBain. There are two different crimes going on at the same time. Two people have been shot in the face with a shotgun. Another womean has been stabbed to death. Carellla and Kling catch the first one and Myer and Hawes the second. With very good police work the men go after the one or ones who did these two deeds. McBain uses his usual good writing to move the case forward. He makes you feel like you are there and these things can actually happen. There is a very good twist at the end or it was to me. We even have Roger Broome back from a previous book, number nineteen, I think. If you like a good mystery that will hold you attention and make you not want to put the book down, you will enjoy this one.
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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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on April 24, 2016
This is an Ed McBain book. That’s says it all.

McBain can tell more story into 174 pages than many authors can in 400. He doesn’t waste a word here or in any of his novels yet he paints a clear picture of everything and everyone.
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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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