When a sniper begins gunning down cops from the 87th Precinct in cold blood, it’s up to Detective Steve Carella to solve the case. With three cops already dead, Carella delves into the city’s underworld to search for the killer.
©1990 Ed McBain (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“McBain has the ability to make every character believable - which few writers these days can do.” (Associated Press)
“McBain forces us to think twice about every character we meet…even those we thought we already knew.” (New York Times Book Review)
Really enjoyed this trip down memory lane. This police procedural takes you back to a time before CSI forensics and the "bulls" were the king of the streets and tough as nails. Corruption, abuse, and sex was part of a "bulls" every day life. being nice did not solve crimes. I find McBain's characters to be realistic and not as one dimensional as Elmore Leonard. Light, entertaining stories with a nostalgic flair. I recommend and am in the process of reading "The Mugger".
Written during a time before CSI and Law and Order, Cop Hater takes the reader back to a time when police work was pounding the pavement. No technology, no women in the workplace, "foreigners" looked at as if they were exotic animals, smoking indoors and everyone dressed in their Sunday best, are just a few things that make Cop Hater so enjoyable. The reader has to figure out the who-dun-it without the cell phone records or DNA evidence. It makes you wonder, how did anything ever get done before David Caruso and his Aviator sunglasses?
First of all, it's cops, it's hardboiled detective fiction, it's an old, old book, and Dick Hill narrates. For a mystery buff, that's all it should take to buy this novel.
One feature this book has that I really appreciated is the author's preface from the late Evan Hunter (née Salvatore Albert Lombino). In it Hunter/McBain tells the backstory of the 87th Precinct series. Despite the fact I had read the entire series, it answered questions about why and what went into the books.
One of McBain's techniques was inserting police forms and criminal notes into the book, these visuals don't translate well and slow the book's flow, but I don't know how else the audio team could handle them.
The book is the first in a series and it's crucial to begin to learn the members of the Precinct and watch them grow, age and evolve over the next 25 or so books. They grow, marry, divorce, die, kill, and solve crime after crime. Police tactics and interaction with citizens, witnesses and criminals also evolve. Remember that the first book predates the Miranda warning.
The books are hardboiled detective fiction. Gruff, growling dialogue, vivid narration, and you'll be enthralled. The books show their age in slang and idioms, but over all it's groovy. Oh wait, that'll be in like, book 15 or so.
So download, pour yourself a rye on the rocks, turn off all the lights but the one by your chair, and listen. Dang, you'll love it. Just remember when it was written.
Surprising well written. Best part was Dick Hill's narration especially his description of the sudden rain after a heat wave in the era before AC. Beginning of Chapter 16.
First 2 minutes of Chapter 16; Dick Hill may be overly dramatic, but it's very entertaining!
The first book "Cop Killer" was set against a heatwave in the middle of Summer.
The second book "The Mugger" takes place in Fall (Autumn).
I happened to read both books during the seasons they were written about. I was impressed with McBain's atmospheric writing, perhaps because I experienced the seasons as he was describing them.
McBain describes the city as if it were a woman (his words) and the reader can thus feel the dress sticking to her skin; Whether it is the sweltering summer sweat, or leaves falling around her ankles onto wet pavement.
Once the mood is set, the actors are introduced: the criminals and the crimes they perpetrate, the enforcers of peace, and the families at home.
“The body lay outside an abandoned, boarded-up theater. The theater had started as a first-run movie house, many years back when the neighborhood had still been fashionable. As the neighborhood began rotting, the theater began showing second-run films, and then old movies, and finally foreign-language films.”
- Ed Mccain from "Cop Hater"
By todays standards Mccain's writing may seem quaint, but it captures the essence of 1950's cop novels.
Only for historic interest - his subsequent books are much better. But this was a new format for the times, having a group of protagonists, and it was interesting to hear the interview with the author.
I really like Dick Hill's narration, but his version of a New York area accent was painful to my ear. His normal accent would have been much nicer to listen to!
Listening was mildly entertaining, as a window on a past time, but the story unfolded rather predictably without being clever.
The story, largely considered the inspiration behind Law and Order was definitely ahead of its time, and was an excellent "read"
There is nothing like it
No, I've not listened
I swear this guy sounds like Stan Lee.
I was not interested in the characters. I was not curious to know what would happen. It’s a police procedural/cop drama written in the 1950s. Cops are interviewing people to solve murders. The people being interviewed are gang members, ex-cons, a drug addict. I was hoping this would be like Harry Bosch (the Michael Connelly series). But it was not.
The audiobook narrator Dick Hill was very good.
Genre: crime fiction
Dick Hill is my favorite narrator, hands down. I bought this based on his recommendation for his favorite series narrated recently featured on Audible. It was awful. Even Dick Hill couldn't save this one. This is the first book narrated by him that I haven't liked at all.
I do not like this performance. Please find someone else to read these books!
I have loved Ed McBain books since the first time I read one decades ago. I have read every book he has ever printed and have never been disappointed in the story. I do not like this narrator. I wish he would retire or find some other form of work. His performance makes the story difficult to listen to and if I hadn't already been a McBain fan I would not have ever read another book of his based on this performance. I will eventually purchase all of the McBain books to listed to because I love the author's work but I will have to have long breaks between listening to them with this narrator.
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