Book Review: Lady Killer by Ed McBain

This is the seventh book in McBain’s 87th Precinct series and it is definitely one of the strongest. The setting and characters are the same, as the detectives of the precinct work a case but the plot is an utter gem.

On a baking hot day in the city a cryptic note is delivered to the detectives saying that in 12 hours there will be a murder. While they suspect it to be a crank the detectives can’t ignore it and what follows is a tense twelve hours for the men as they try and work out who the potential victim might be.

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It’s a really gripping read with the “ticking clock” aspect paying dividends (McBain says it was written in a similar way as he faced a deadline). The plot never lets up and McBain really ramps up the tension and uses the blistering weather to create a claustrophobic and tense atmosphere.

The detectives are familiar faces by this point and McBain writes them and their interactions with ease and a tough, gritty sensibility. His talent for creating a cracking page turner is evident and I breezed through this. The plot as well, loaded with red herrings, is possibly the best in the series so far.

McBain’s humour is present and his writing is fantastic in places.

Verdict: An intensely gripping thriller which McBain keeps moving throughout, it’s hard to put down and wonderfully entertaining. 8/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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One Comment on “Book Review: Lady Killer by Ed McBain”

  1. […] When the detectives get a note taunting them about a murder which will be committed in twelve hours it kicks off a ticking clock thriller as they try to work out who the killer is, as well as their target. Proves writing under pressure works. […]


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