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Cop Hater by Ed McBain

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July 2013 Guest Editor Cath Staincliffe on Cop Hater...

McBain more or less invented the police procedural charting the daily work of cops in the big city. This was the first 87th precinct novel with an ensemble cast of characters who work in an atmosphere of camaraderie (and occasional conflict) and engage in banter as a way to cope with the demands of the job. Tropes that are now de rigueur for many police procedurals and have influenced my work.

If you like Ed McBain you might also like to read books by Tony Hillerman, James Lee Burke and Robert B Parker.

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Cop Hater by Ed McBain

Swift, silent, and deadly -- someone is knocking off the 87th Precinct's finest, one by one. The how of the killings is obvious: three .45 shots from the dark add up to one, two, three very dead detectives. The why and the who are the Precinct's headaches now. When Detective Reardon is found dead, motive is a big question mark. But when his partner becomes victim number two, it looks like open-and-shut grudge killings. That is, until a third detective buys it. With one meager clue, Detective Steve Carella begins his grim search for the killer, a search that takes him into the city's underworld to a notorious brothel, to the apartment of a beautiful and dangerous widow, and finally to a .45 automatic aimed straight at his head. . . .

About the Author

Ed McBain

Ed McBain was born in New York City. Married Anita Melnick, 1949 (divorced), 3 children (Ted, Mark, Richard); married Mary Vann Finley, 1973 (divorced), 1 stepdaughter (Amanda); married Dragica Dimitrijevic, 1997.

During World War II he served in the US Navy, and then took a university degree, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. A few months of teaching in high school were followed by a job in a literary agency in New York. He describes himself at this time as "fiercely ambitious", doing a full day’s work in the agency and spending all his nights and weekends writing. His first success, published under the name Evan Hunter, was THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE (1954) — a tough novel of New York life, about an idealistic teacher in a slum high school. It was later made into a film with Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier.

Since then he has written more than eighty novels, writing under several names, but most famously as Evan Hunter and Ed McBain. He has also written many screenplays, including the one for Hitchcock’s film THE BIRDS. As Ed McBain, he is the author of the 87th Precinct novels, the longest, the most varied, and possibly the most popular crime series in the world. These novels are about a team of policemen, usually including Detective Steve Carella, and are set in an "imaginary city". There are fifty-two 87th Precinct novels to date. The two most recent titles are THE LAST DANCE and MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.

Mystery Writers of America Award, 1957, for short story THE LAST SPIN. Grand Master Award, Mystery Writers of America, 1986, for lifetime achievement. First American to receive the British Crime writer’s Association Cartier Diamond Dagger, 1998. Frankfurt Origial e-Book Award, best fiction, 2002.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th September 2010


Ed McBain

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Crime / Mystery
Thriller / Suspense
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