Book Review: Killer’s Payoff by Ed McBain

I really love McBain’s 87th Precinct series, with each novel continuing the lives of the detectives but dealing with a separate case. What makes them is McBain’s dry, sarcastic writing which is wonderfully evocative in places and flows nicely. He also has skill in writing good, pulpy


In this installment the focus is on Cotton Hawes and Steve Carella as they investigate when a blackmailer is gunned down, gangland style. The case takes them after the victims marks as they try and work out whether what he had over them was worth killing to keep secret.

It’s a tight, clever thriller with a few nice subplots and touches, and while the final mystery is easy to solve, it still works and keeps you gripped.

What also works is that the focus has moved to Hawes who is a tough guy but learning the ropes. His mistakes add tension and his womanising ways make for entertaining reading.

It’s an easy read and flows well and McBain continues to impress as a talented and capable writer.

Verdict: Gripping and fun it’s a quick, easy read. 7/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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