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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