Book Review: Killer’s Choice by Ed McBain

I’m getting to be a bit of a fan of McBain and the men of the 87th precinct. This is the fifth installment and as usual follows the detectives as they attempt to solve a crime.

The crime here is a young woman gunned down in a liquor store, but as they delve into her life a series of contradictions appear and they struggle to get a clear picture of who she was. With a new member to the team and a series of dead ends, it is a frustrating time.

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The situation gets worse as one of their own is killed at the scene of a liquor store robbery. Are the two related, or is it mere coincidence?

I enjoyed this book, although it’s not the strongest entry in the series, with the core mystery being a little rushed in conclusion. What makes it though is McBain’s wry humour and the characters, with the 87th’s detectives all different and with individual traits which works well. The dialogue is fast and well observed. McBain develops the story with skill, layering in subplots and red herrings, which makes the final dash to the finish line even more frustrating.

I’m already eyeing up the sixth book.

Verdict: McBain is an accomplished writer but this one feels a bit flimsy and the ending disappoints. But there’s just enough in terms of humour, character and pulpy flair to get it through. 6/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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