Simon & Schuster, Aug 2004, 24.95, 293 pp.
“Sonny Sanson”, an alias the Deaf Man used for this job to mean “I am without sound” has a gun pointed at the heart of his former associate Gloria. He demands she give to him whatever is left from an illegal drug sale. Gloria apologizes for her betrayal of him and cooperates, but Sanson is disinterested. Quoting Macbeth he shoots her twice in the chest before tying her to her bed just as she did to him.
The Deaf Man is back and has begun his quest for vengeance. His next target is the 87th Precinct, specifically Steve Carella, but others will do. This time he taunts his opponents with Shakespearean citations or anagrams that have the cops struggling to decipher. Steve knows that this cat and mouse game is going bad for the police who do not know whether their dangerously brilliant opponent is even deaf. If he only had to stop a delusional homicidal genius Steve would be okay, but he also must pay for the double weddings of mom and sis, which is why he is in a panic.
The latest Ed McBain police procedural is the usual delightful tale that mixes the personal troubles of the members of the 87th with minor cases and a major investigation.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner