Fiddlers
Ed McBain
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Buy *Fiddlers: A Novel of the 87th Precinct* online

Fiddlers: A Novel of the 87th Precinct
Ed McBain
Harcourt
Hardcover
272 pages
September 2005
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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A blind violinist. A cosmetic sales rep. A priest. A professor. All over fifty and all shot two times point blank in the face. With no obvious clues, these horrific scenarios are handed to the detectives of the Eighty-Seventh Precinct to solve. Besides an intriguing plot, the dialogue pushes the plot along, establishing a rhythm that builds, clue by clue, character by character.

The detectives take to the streets, hitting night clubs and raves, any and all venues with the potential for shifting quantities of illegal drugs. The trail leads one way, then another, but they canít get a fix on the motive for the killings. Meanwhile the murderer keeps busy, dropping new bodies while the cops are mid-stride, chasing the last one.

Sharing intimate portraits of their personal lives, the detectives work this bizarre set of serial murders with their usual professionalism and solid police work. The chapters alternate the crimes with private glimpses into the daily lives of the men of the Eighty-Seventh: Carella, Meyer, Burns, Parker and Oliver Wendell Weeks. A pattern slowly emerges that doesn't fit any previously known serial killer, but eventually one individual is identified.

The author inserts humorous asides, even in the midst of heinous murders, the detectives' personal problems humanizing these men who deal with everyday violence, a mix of crime and the mundane details that make up police life. The pages are sprinkled with eccentric characters, dope dealers, students, ex-husbands, all with pitch-perfect dialogue. The Eighty-Seventh Precinct does their footwork by the book, narrowing their suspects bit by bit. This particular murderer plots his revenge for a painful past, a revenge best served cold. But that's the thing with resentments...they'll kill you.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Luan Gaines, 2005

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