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Publisher's Summary

A bitterly cold night offers up a body turned blue - not frozen, but swinging from a rope in a dank basement. The dead teen seems like a clear case of suicide, but Detective Steve Carella and Lieutenant Peter Byrnes find a few facts out of place, and an autopsy confirms their suspicions. The boy hadn’t hung himself but OD’d on heroin before an unknown companion strung him up to hide the true cause of death.

The revelation dredges up enough muck to muddy the waters of what should’ve been an open-and-shut case. To find the answers to a life gone off the rails, Carella and Byrnes face a deep slog into the community of users and pushers - but a grim phone call discloses that very community already has its claws in a cop’s son. A new pusher is staking a claim right under the 87th Precinct’s noses, and it’s up to Carella and Byrnes to snag the viper before it poisons their whole lives.

©1971 Hui Corporation (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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May make you run for a fix

Let's talk Ed McBain. The late Ewan Hunter's (his name) 87th Precinct series spans three decades from the 1950s to the 1970s. This is set in the mid- to late-1950s. It's a hard-boiled detective novel.
I've read the entire series, and McBain writes a very specific style. Reading the books, it works. The long, repetitive diatribes and character angst work in print. Translated to audio, it falls short.
Dick Hill is a great narrator. I love his Jack Reacher. In this performance though, he is so cartoonish and melodramatic as to become annoying.
Combined with McBain/Hunter's long diatribes and Hill's melodrama, I actually fast-forwarded ahead several minutes at a time throughout the book.
This one is a good story, but get the book or read it on Kindle.

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Story ok Dick Hill not

I loved Dick Hill in all the Jack Reacher novels but this performance was melodramatic and I almost didn't make it to the end. Which would have been Unfortunate because the ending was worth it.

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  • wally
  • grand rapids, michigan, United States
  • 07-26-14

classic mcbain, can't put it down

What made the experience of listening to The Pusher the most enjoyable?

it's the way mcbain tells the story, with his own unique voice

Who was your favorite character and why?

steve corella. He has a sensitivity other cops wouldn't have. For him to have a deaf girlfriend really speaks highly of his character

Would you listen to another book narrated by Dick Hill?

certainly not. Hill used to be an excellent reader, but the old guy is fading.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

gritty, compelling. g,

Any additional comments?

Dick Hill should retire gracefully. I think he must have had a stroke, he no longer speaks with ease.