Simon & Schuster, Jan 2001, 25.00, 301 pp.
Part 1: “The Rain May Never Fall Till After Sundown” by Evan Hunter. Los Angeles architect Benjamin Thorpe visits New York on business. However, he wants a bite of the Big Apple desiring wild sex, which he cannot obtain except by phone from his prim spouse. He picks up a trio of beauties in Manhattan, but instead of the orgy he has dreamed of having, Benjamin finds himself humiliatingly awaking on the streets of New York.
Part 2: “By Eight, the Morning Fog Must Disappear” by Ed McBain. Special Victims NYPD detective Emma Boyle may have personal problems, but dives head first into the murder-rape case of a prostitute. The preliminary evidence points toward a middle aged John, who turns out to be Benjamin. As the case against Benjamin turns stronger, someone, perhaps an obsessed Benjamin, breaks into the hooker's apartment, leaving Emma to wonder if another mark killed the victim.
CANDYLAND is an incredible two-part novel that combines the superb, but widely diverse styles of “two” great authors, Ed McBain and Evan Hunter. The story line is superb as the classic Hunter story line easily feeds into a classic McBain plot. The different writing styles appear so precisely clear and well-written, readers will wonder if the author(s) suffers from multiple personality disorder. Beyond the terrific thriller aspects is a gritty look at a person whose sexual proclivities take him over the edge. A Hunter-McBain book by any other name is simply a triumph for fans of either author.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner