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FREE á Hail to the Chief Í Detectives Steve Carella and Burt Kling set out to end the racial warfare that caused the deaths of six teenagers There s no mystery and it is a good example of content being sacrificed to the form Our detectives investigation runs in parallel with the reading of the gang leader s confession statement in flashbacks after he had been arrested So the whole narration comes down to something like this guy explaining what had happened and then Ed McBain describing how our heroes concluded that same thing using the police procedures It s an interesting concept but it quickly wears off and becomesand mo There s no mystery and it is a good example of content being sacrificed to the form Our detectives investigation runs in parallel with the reading of the gang leader s confession statement in flashbacks after he had been arrested So the whole narration comes down to something like this guy explaining what had happened and then Ed McBain describing how our heroes concluded that same thing using the police procedures It s an interesting concept but it quickly wears off and becomesandannoying My humble opinion is that this approach would function mucheffectively if the guy would be interrogated instead There are pages and pages of that statement without any dialogues and the whole thing is at times really hard to digest.Far from being bad, but it s just not for me More here review includes spoilers Of the twenty eight novels in the 87th Precinct series thus far, this one, for me, is the least successful of all.The story opens on a bitterly cold winter night when six naked bodies are found thrown into a trench The detectives of the 87th must first identify the victims and then figure out who killed them and why.It turns out that the deceased are victims of a gang war being fought by the three principal gangs that dominate the city, one black, one Hispanic, and one white The point of view Of the twenty eight novels in the 87th Precinct series thus far, this one, for me, is the least successful of all.The story opens on a bitterly cold winter night when six naked bodies are found thrown into a trench The detectives of the 87th must first identify the victims and then figure out who killed them and why.It turns out that the deceased are victims of a gang war being fought by the three principal gangs that dominate the city, one black, one Hispanic, and one white The point of view alternates between that of the detectives conducting the investigation and that of the leader of the white gang who expounds at great length about his leadership style and the decisions that he s made The gang leader s point of view, in particular, did not work for me at all It was boring, repetitive, and often just plain silly I couldn t for a moment believe that a guy this stupid and self absorbed could possibly be the hardened leader of a gang of serious street thugs.There seemed to be a lot of filler in the book that seemed to serve no purpose other than to pad the word count, and one is tempted to speculate that McBain was under contract and out of time and simply phoned this one in The good news is that, having read some of this series out of order, I know that there are much better books than this left yet, but this one is 2.5 stars for me There are better installments in this epic series by Ed McBain, but it still contains examples of the author s skills, particularly with respect to writing dialogue His ear for street talk is among the best in the business The story was less compelling than usual, with an alternating POV between a delusional, narcissistic gang leader and the men of the 87th Precinct The gang leader is basically a one trick pony and perhaps a missed opportunity for McBain The story is decently entertaining There are better installments in this epic series by Ed McBain, but it still contains examples of the author s skills, particularly with respect to writing dialogue His ear for street talk is among the best in the business The story was less compelling than usual, with an alternating POV between a delusional, narcissistic gang leader and the men of the 87th Precinct The gang leader is basically a one trick pony and perhaps a missed opportunity for McBain The story is decently entertaining but not really engaging, and I found myself looking forThere are far better entries in the series for the uninitiated, but for the die hard fan, this one will become another book checked off your list Certainly not a waste, just nothing over which to be excited I didn t think it could happen A less than stellar 87th Precinct novel.This one is pretty stale, probably due to the author s prodigious novel count in the 70 s McBain s high point came in the 80 s with great novels like Ice, Lightning, Poison and Tricks.The 70 s lingo and some poor name choices threw me out of the novel too Terms like fuzz, bread, cliques, and iced sound much too antiquated now Unimaginative nicknames like Mighty Man really , The Bullet, Jo Jo and Big are indications that I didn t think it could happen A less than stellar 87th Precinct novel.This one is pretty stale, probably due to the author s prodigious novel count in the 70 s McBain s high point came in the 80 s with great novels like Ice, Lightning, Poison and Tricks.The 70 s lingo and some poor name choices threw me out of the novel too Terms like fuzz, bread, cliques, and iced sound much too antiquated now Unimaginative nicknames like Mighty Man really , The Bullet, Jo Jo and Big are indications that McBain may have just been in robot mode.What nearly ruined it for me though was the third person view from a criminal in street talk that s a real change in form from McBain Throw in some 70 s lingo and I just couldn t dig it, man Most of the author s novels have a crisp, snappy dialogue that sounds genuine and entertaining.Still this is an 87th precinct novel and it s not all bad High points include a very confronting rape speech by Meyer, a police interview technique that sounds very effective, and some banter between Kling and Carella concerning marriage that leaves an awkward silence It resonates like a bona fide moment between two guys.I realize after 55 novels in the 87th Precinct, they are not all going to be gems damn it I plan on continuing on readingof his late 70 s early 80 s novels and hope that this one is just a dud