RARA-AVIS: Ed McBains 87th Precinct --

From: Jack Bludis ( buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 04 Jul 2007

In his recent post Jim Doherty reminded me about Ed McBain.

I read a lot of Ed McBain's earlier offerings in this series. The last one I read, *The Frumious Bandersnatch,* published in 2004, was less than satisfying, although written extremely well and with twist that surprised Carella, but not me--and I suspect not many others, who have read a lot of mystery fiction.

What did surprise me though was that the book was decidedly noir, considering the most important non-cop character was screwed from the beginning, even though McBain gave us hope up until the final moments.

One thing that did stick out to me, since it had been a few years since I read an 87th Precinct, was the way that McBain has not aged his characters all the way to old men, in spite of the first having been published in 1956.

I didn't see anything about the Twins in TFB, but I may have forgotten it since it has been a few months since I read it. Carella was still married to Teddy, though.

What stuck with me was the way he handled the characters, ages, especially Carella, who in the originals if I remember correctly, was a Korean War Veteran.

I never did see his transition from Lieutenant to somewhat just "one of the cops." (Anybody know where or how that occurred?)

In this one, he says, and I'll paraphrase since I no longer have the book handy: He (one of the characters) was a veteran of one of our little wars, just as Carella was a veteran of his.

Neat way to handle it.

It's a shame Parker hasn't been so inventive with Spenser over the years.


http://crimespace.ning.com/profile/JackBludis Try "Blondes, Blondes, Blondes" at http://www.thrillingdetective.com/fiction/06_12_02.html

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