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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

“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)

What listeners say about Cop Hater

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Dang, it's about time for the 87th Precinct

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.

13 people found this helpful

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50's Cop Novel

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.

10 people found this helpful

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1950's Noir...

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".

9 people found this helpful

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Good Writing, Great Narration

What made the experience of listening to Cop Hater the most enjoyable?

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.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Cop Hater?

First 2 minutes of Chapter 16; Dick Hill may be overly dramatic, but it's very entertaining!

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absoutely.

Any additional comments?

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?

7 people found this helpful

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What is Dick Hill doing?

I love the 87th precinct books. They are dark and gritty and full of noir in the "Big Bad City." Dick Hill is veteran narrator and when he performs dialogue in this audiobook it is good and easy to follow. But I have no idea what the production director was thinking to allow his "narrator accent" thru this book. It was gawd-awful. What was it? Not Boston. Not New York. Not distinguishable ANYTHING! --- and combine that with the choice to 'sing song' the narration with the bizarre lilts up and down and hanging semtences was both distracting and un-listenable. I kicked the speed up to x 1.6 to get through the story and MAY give a chance to one more of these pulp treasures but if Dick's narration is the same I will not be able to recommend. He should read these straight noir. His voice is perfect for that. This is NOT Dick Hill at his best. But, in all respect for Mr. Hill, my opinion is subjective. I would like to know what others think.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good old fashioned cop story

I had forgotten how good the 87th precinct books were. Glad to find them on audible. Get for free if you have kindle unlimited. It's a shame Dick Hill has to just about ruin a good story with his narration. I swear he gets worse with every recording. Since the price is right and book is well written . I'll put up with Hill and download more in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good story, terrible narrator.

The caption says it all. He is a melodramatic cornball And detracts from the story.

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Ruined by performance

I've had this series on my reading list for a long time and it finally occurred to me to look for it on Audible. I was very happy to find it and used my next monthly credit on it. I could not finish it. The story and writing lived up to my expectations but the performance was TERRIBLE. I had to hear this guy say "squad" four times before I knew what he was saying and got it then mostly through context. His portrayal of different characters' voices was painful and his overall voice sounded like an Adam Sandler parody - but not in a good way. Everything was off about it - cadence. tone, inflection - everything. AND HE PEFORMS THE WHOLE SERIES!! This is one series I will actually read instead of listen to.

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solid first of a series

Firstly the foreword was an interesting listen. From what I read, this series started in 1955. It reflected the norms of that time. Yet the series itself was something new. The series revolves around the 87 precinct, not one particular person. Each novel will cover different characters from that particular precinct.

If the rest of the series is as good as this book then I highly recommend it

Dick Hill, the consummate professional, did an excellent job narrating. He gave each character their own distinct voice.