Review: Cop Hater: 87th Precinct #1

Cop Hater (87th Precinct #1)Cop Hater by Ed McBain

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Cop Hater was written close to fifty years ago, and it shows it’s age.  Pot-boiler procedural? Hard-boiled procedural?  Some of both, I think.  It was one of the first cops-in-the-squad-room mystery books published, and it spawned a whole new subgenre for mystery–one I enjoy greatly.  Usually.

For me? I think this first book needed a better editor, and I found the language to be surprisingly florid for such a slim word count.    Beyond those points, the plot was tight and the characters memorable.  I’d need to be in a specific kind of mood for this specific kind of story, and it’s not a mood I get into often.  I’d rather curl up with Dennis Lehane or Laurie R. King.  Still, I have a much later 87th Precinct story on my shelf–#16, to be exact.  I’m curious to see if anything has changed in McBain’s style over the years.

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