Nearly fifty years ago Ed McBain created a fictitious city and a police squad in that city, the 87th precinct. The novels about this squad still keep coming and get better all the time. This novel deals with drug trafficking, counterfeit money and terrorism. Crimes that involve big money. The book starts with a young female pilot bringing a cocaine shipment into the US from Mexico and handing over $1,700,000. The money was forged and this resulted in her being murdered and dumped in a lion's den. Detective Steve Carella is still the protagonist in this series and is allotted the case. Other killings follow and the link between the cases is difficult to determine. Once again McBain does not disappoint his readers. This is a well plotted thriller that keeps readers hooked to the last page.
This report prepared by Penny
Simon & Schuster, Sep 2001, 25.00, 269 pp.
It may be Christmas time, but for the cops of the 87th Precinct, crime remains the same year round. The season to be Jolly presents the police officers with the case of drug pilot Cassandra Ridley, found to be a Yuletide snack for the lions living in the Grover Park Zoo. Cassandra was carrying $10,000 all counterfeit. The case crosses precincts since one of her legs was chewed on in the 88th while the brunt of the corpse resided in the 87th. Detectives Steve Carella and Oliver Wendell Weeks share the investigation.
The two cops follow the money trail that apparently is somewhere between 1.7 and 1.9 million. However, other individuals from a less savory side of life also trail the cash including government men and hit women. With their personal problems and desires also at the forefront, the police find this investigation keeps turning screwier as Carella and Weeks get closer to the truth.
For this reviewer's money, Ed McBain's 87th police procedural novels are the yardsticks that every other sub-genre author strives to match, but few come close. His fifty-first tale in the long running series, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, shows why he's the MAN even though the well written story line requires a stretch to believe in a conspiracy. The cops are human with troubles and desires outside the precinct and a struggle with the case, which is serious yet deftly, includes humor. Anyone, who wants a smooth ride in a police cruiser, Mr. McBain's investigative trip is the ticket to enjoyment as it has been since the mid-fifties.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner