Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Mugger by Ed McBain

An 87th Precinct Novel

The Mugger is the second of the novels about the detectives of the 87th Precinct, and one of the original three that were written in 1956. The plot of the book is pretty simple, as the title suggests our officer and cops are seeking a mugger who have been targeting women in the precinct. It’s a short novel; it serves not only to act as an insight to the world of the 87th Precinct, but also to continue the set up of our squad room, giving patrolman Bert Kling his back-story, and really his first case. The book also serves to introduce the Meyer Meyer as one of the jokers of the squad. Over all it’s really a fast read, and it’s not really all that much of a stand out… with the exception of the Hepcat talk of a Beatnik informant, which is a reminder of how cool that patter could be…and how complex it could be as well. I also really liked the look into the idea of teen clubs, which I have only really read about, and I know the importance they held for the development of a lot of the 60’s garage rock that started to emerge around 10 years down the road from the year that this book was written.


 If you are looking to read and follow the whole 87th Precinct series this book is a required read, however if you really just want the highlights, I’d start with one of the more acclaimed entries from the 70s and 80s… however my plan and goal over the next couple of years is to read all of them in order, and so for me this was an essential part of the story.

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