Top mysteries challenge review: Cop Hater by Ed McBain

Year of publication: 1956
Crime sub-genre: Police procedural, mystery
Type of mystery: Murder
Type of investigator: Police detectives
Setting & time: New York city, USA, 1950s

When a police detective is murdered, execution style, on his way to work, both the murder department and the detectives of the 87th Precinct are galvanized into action. When a second and then a third detective is killed, it becomes clear that someone who really, really hates police detectives is out there, murdering them at random. Or is he? Detective Steve Carella is not so sure.
Meanwhile, trouble is brewing as a reporter starts annoying both police and members of a street gang he suspects of being behind the killings, and the killer decides to pay a call on Carella’s girlfriend.

Apart from the characterisations of women based on their breast size, I like this book. The narrative is taut and fast paced, the twists are well done and the male characters, especially the likable and smart Steve Carella, are well drawn.

Rating: A fast paced and thrilling police novel. 3+ stars.


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