I found a stack of my mom's old McBain paperbacks and decided to start with this one. I tore right through it and fell in love with the series. McBain has an inimitable style that puts you right in the middle of the Eight Seven's investigations. Great series!
Carella and Kling team up to track down the killer of a woman that becomes more of a mystery than her death. Carella and Kling make an interesting pair, as Kling's young and almost naive rookie appearance clashes with yet compliments Cavella's experience and certainty. This is the first real Rashomon-style story in the 87th series, a theme that McBain will return to again and again to effectively illustrate the difficulty in discovering the truth when it's very definition is more than subjective. Conflicting testimonies and descriptions raise many questions about the true nature of the victim's personality, and many of these mysteries remain unsolved beyond the closing of the case, adding a dizzying perspective to teh difficulty the detectives face in sorting relevant facts and clues from personal opinion and self serving dishonesty.
This novel also sees the exit of Roger Haviland and the introduction of Cotton Hawes, the latter of which attempts to track down the killer of the former after a shaky start at the 87th casts doubt upon his credibillity in the department. Meyer also makes his appearences, but mostly he is relegated to the background.
An 87th Precinct thriller... from the most famous police series in history.
Detective Richard Havilland only knew that he was flying backwards, off balance. He knew only that he collided with the plate glass window, and that the window shattered around him in a thousand flying fragments of sharp s;linters. He felt sudden pain and he yelled, with something close to tears in his voice, "You bastard! You dirty bastard! You can go and..." but that was all he said. Ne never said another word... Glass had pierced his jugular vein!