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It is Christmas in the city, but it isn't the giving season. A retired Gulf War pilot, a careless second-story man, a pair of angry Mexicans, and an equally shady pair of Secret Service agents are in town after a large stash of money, and no one is interested in sharing. The detectives at the 87th are already busy for the holidays. Steve Carella and Fat Ollie Weeks catch It is Christmas in the city, but it isn't the giving season. A retired Gulf War pilot, a careless second-story man, a pair of angry Mexicans, and an equally shady pair of Secret Service agents are in town after a large stash of money, and no one is interested in sharing. The detectives at the 87th are already busy for the holidays. Steve Carella and Fat Ollie Weeks catch the squeal when the lions in the city zoo get an unauthorized feeding of a young woman's body. And then there's a trash can stuffed with a book salesman carrying a P-38 Walther and a wad of big bills. The bad bills and the dead book salesman lead to the offices of a respected publisher, Wadsworth and Dodds. This is good news for Fat Ollie, because he's working on a police novel -- one written by a real cop -- and he's sure it's going to be a bestseller.


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It is Christmas in the city, but it isn't the giving season. A retired Gulf War pilot, a careless second-story man, a pair of angry Mexicans, and an equally shady pair of Secret Service agents are in town after a large stash of money, and no one is interested in sharing. The detectives at the 87th are already busy for the holidays. Steve Carella and Fat Ollie Weeks catch It is Christmas in the city, but it isn't the giving season. A retired Gulf War pilot, a careless second-story man, a pair of angry Mexicans, and an equally shady pair of Secret Service agents are in town after a large stash of money, and no one is interested in sharing. The detectives at the 87th are already busy for the holidays. Steve Carella and Fat Ollie Weeks catch the squeal when the lions in the city zoo get an unauthorized feeding of a young woman's body. And then there's a trash can stuffed with a book salesman carrying a P-38 Walther and a wad of big bills. The bad bills and the dead book salesman lead to the offices of a respected publisher, Wadsworth and Dodds. This is good news for Fat Ollie, because he's working on a police novel -- one written by a real cop -- and he's sure it's going to be a bestseller.

30 review for Money, Money, Money

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christopher (Donut)

    This book came out in September 2001, which is very interesting, considering it has a sub-plot about terrorists planning to bomb "Clarendon Hall" (i.e., Carnegie Hall). The rest of the plot is about cocaine and counterfeit hundred-dollar "super bills," and the publishing firm of Wadsworth and Dodds. Comic relief from "Fat Ollie" Weeks, who is always thinking about food, and always politically incorrect, and soap opera drama from Steve Carella and his relatives. I listened to an unabridged 10 CD This book came out in September 2001, which is very interesting, considering it has a sub-plot about terrorists planning to bomb "Clarendon Hall" (i.e., Carnegie Hall). The rest of the plot is about cocaine and counterfeit hundred-dollar "super bills," and the publishing firm of Wadsworth and Dodds. Comic relief from "Fat Ollie" Weeks, who is always thinking about food, and always politically incorrect, and soap opera drama from Steve Carella and his relatives. I listened to an unabridged 10 CD edition, but I think it could have been easily abridged to 5 CDs, considering how much repetition and padding it contains. The performer (Garrick Hagon- I may be reviewing the wrong audiobook here) did some accents better than others, and some more consistently than others. His 'straight' voice was very straight indeed. We're talking Dudley Do-right straight. It was a creditable performance. Knowing from the date that Ed McBain, the author of Blackboard Jungle, was forty-five years into his writing career, I may have inferred that this roundabout and leisurely book was the product of old age. "Money, money, money" indeed. Which is not to say I didn't like it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    2.75 stars. IMHO, while this book had its moments, invariably revolving around Fat Ollie Weeks, who saves Steve Carella's life not once, but twice, the plot was very far fetched. The basic plot revolved around some seemingly unrelated murders and thefts, involved Mexican drug smuggling and counterfeit $100 bills. The conspiracy part of the plot, the Arab terrorists, and involvement of the Secret Service was a real stretch although the sensational murder by ice pick and lion eating was pretty 2.75 stars. IMHO, while this book had its moments, invariably revolving around Fat Ollie Weeks, who saves Steve Carella's life not once, but twice, the plot was very far fetched. The basic plot revolved around some seemingly unrelated murders and thefts, involved Mexican drug smuggling and counterfeit $100 bills. The conspiracy part of the plot, the Arab terrorists, and involvement of the Secret Service was a real stretch although the sensational murder by ice pick and lion eating was pretty clever. Also, there was little involvement by the rest of the 87th Precinct.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    A shorter one, the kind the McBain does best. A little too much plot for such a short work, though. Sometimes, you can see the wheels of the plot moving too fast and too obviously. Still, it is enjoyable.

  4. 4 out of 5

    James Thane

    In one of those odd twists of fate, this book was first published on September 6, 2001, and one of the threads in the book involves a terrorist plot against a target in Isola, which is the author's thinly veiled stand-in for New York City. Five days later, McBain was out touring in support of the book and in the wake of the terrorists' attacks of that day, he was forced to abandon the tour, rent a car and drive back home to NYC. The book opens with a former combat pilot who flew missions in the In one of those odd twists of fate, this book was first published on September 6, 2001, and one of the threads in the book involves a terrorist plot against a target in Isola, which is the author's thinly veiled stand-in for New York City. Five days later, McBain was out touring in support of the book and in the wake of the terrorists' attacks of that day, he was forced to abandon the tour, rent a car and drive back home to NYC. The book opens with a former combat pilot who flew missions in the Gulf War named Cassandra Jean Ridley. Cassandra is now making a series of secret flights back and forth across the Mexican border, serving as a courier between drug buyers and sellers. It's a very lucrative endeavor, and after completing her last mission, Cassandra moves east to the Big City, with a profit of $210,000. The book really gets rolling when a burglar breaks into Cassandra's apartment and steals a couple of her newly-purchased fur coats along with $8500 that she was keeping in a shoe box. Cassandra calls the cops and reports the theft of the coats, but she then discovers that the burglar has accidentally left what amounts to a calling card behind. She tracks the guy down herself and recovers her coats and most of her money at gunpoint, but not before the burglar has spent one of her hundred dollar bills in a bar. In fairly short order, the Secret Service also shows up at the burglar's door, suggesting that the hundred dollar bill he spent might have been counterfeit. Not long after, bodies are dropping left and right and detectives Steve Carella and Meyer Meyer are attempting to sort things out. Then to further complicate matters, someone wanders naked into the zoo and gets eaten by a pack of lions. One of the lions is inconsiderate enough to drag one of the victim's legs across the imaginary line that divides the 87th Precinct from the 88th, and that, in turn, much to Carella's consternation, allows detective Fat Ollie Weeks from the 88th to horn in on the investigation. McBain has created an especially good cast of characters for this novel and some of the action takes place in a publishing firm. Fat Ollie, who is now taking piano lessons, decides that in addition to being a world-class pianist, he could also be a best-selling author. McBain has a great deal of fun with the idea, and indeed, the next book in the series is Fat Ollie's Book. And, in the middle of it all, there's the above-mentioned attack that terrorists are planning against the city. All in all, it's another very good addition to the series and a book that will appeal, not only to fans of the series, but also to lots of readers who have not yet discovered the 87th Precinct.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    Book on CD read by Ron McLarty This is book # 51 (!) in the 87th Precinct series of police procedurals, set in a fictious large city back East, and featuring the detectives of the 87th Precinct. In this novel seemingly unconnected murder victims are ultimately tied together in a conspiracy involving drug-dealing and counterfeiting. This is the first book by McBain that Ive read, and it will not be the last! Fast-paced, intricate plotting and colorful characters make for a quick and enjoyable Book on CD read by Ron McLarty This is book # 51 (!) in the 87th Precinct series of police procedurals, set in a fictious large city “back East,” and featuring the detectives of the 87th Precinct. In this novel seemingly unconnected murder victims are ultimately tied together in a conspiracy involving drug-dealing and counterfeiting. This is the first book by McBain that I’ve read, and it will not be the last! Fast-paced, intricate plotting and colorful characters make for a quick and enjoyable read, despite the high body count. It may be Christmas but the criminals are busy, and so are the police. I loved that Detective Ollie Weeks is taking piano lessons, and wants to write a novel. And that Steve Carella is nearly eaten by a lion! I was interested from page one to the very end. Ron McLarty does a great job reading the audio book. I particularly liked his voices for “Fat Ollie” and Will Struthers (burglar and hero).

  6. 4 out of 5

    David Highton

    Published in 2001, just before 9/11, this complex plot is mainly about drugs and counterfeit money, but also the use of counterfeit dollars to fund a terrorist attack. Carella and Fat Ollie from the 88th are main detectives in following the complexities of the chain of drug dealers.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    This book is average for McBain. It is definitely a good story that also shows the characters getting older and questioning many things. The is especially true of Detective Carella. It just didn't flow like many of the earlier 87th Precinct novels.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Janet York

    The writing and dialog is excellent. However, the story was predictable and a bit convoluted.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Beverly Lawrence

    Dreadful beyond imagination. At around page 100 - when the author uses a four letter 'word' to describe one of the minor 'background' female characters, I was determined to quit the book - but this title was chosen by the adult mystery book discussion group at my public library, so I felt bound to complete this waste of trees. Not only was the story 'stock', it seemed the author was determined to add as many murders as possible, in one story. It combined the huge flaws of idiotic behaviour by Dreadful beyond imagination. At around page 100 - when the author uses a four letter 'word' to describe one of the minor 'background' female characters, I was determined to quit the book - but this title was chosen by the adult mystery book discussion group at my public library, so I felt bound to complete this waste of trees. Not only was the story 'stock', it seemed the author was determined to add as many murders as possible, in one story. It combined the huge flaws of idiotic behaviour by otherwise 'successful' criminals (both those working alone, and those working as part of a syndicate of criminals) with the huge flaws of idiotic 'police procedure', and even more idiotic 'bending' of 'police procedure', by the involved 'successful' detectives. It then added some absurd attempts at humour, giving "Fat Ollie Weeks' 'idiosyncratic' characteristics beyond the pale. ("I'm having trouble with the first few notes of 'Night and Day'", Ollie complains to his piano instructor. "But .... but .... they're the same three notes!! 'Bang, bang, bang, the same three notes from just one key on the keyboard!!", she replies, trying to suppress the urge to kill Det. Weeks, right there on her piano bench. (This is not exact, but is the gist of about five pages of story and dialog, in this sad excuse for a mystery. It's clear the author was trying to create a sort of 'MONK' like oblivion, in his character 'Ollie Weeks'.) This is, admittedly, the only '87th Precinct' book I've read - and it's my understanding that this title is not the first in the series - so perhaps when the author first created this fictitious precinct, he was more enthused, and thus the earlier 'episodes' gave cause for readers to continue. But this particular 'mystery' didn't provide any of the elements I require, in a 'good read'. Save your money, money, money, and your time, as well!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alton Motobu

    Between Christmas and New Year's, Carella and Fat Ollie investigate murders, drugs, and terrorism all connected with over $200K in counterfeit money. A small book publishing company is a front for international drug smuggling and counterfeiting; a hit squad of beautiful women almost kills Carella but Fat Ollie saves him. Sub plot about Carella's family concerned that he is changing for the worst is not interesting. Not one of McBain's better 87th mysteries. To see McBain at his best read Lullaby Between Christmas and New Year's, Carella and Fat Ollie investigate murders, drugs, and terrorism all connected with over $200K in counterfeit money. A small book publishing company is a front for international drug smuggling and counterfeiting; a hit squad of beautiful women almost kills Carella but Fat Ollie saves him. Sub plot about Carella's family concerned that he is changing for the worst is not interesting. Not one of McBain's better 87th mysteries. To see McBain at his best read Lullaby (1989), Vespers (1989) and Nocturne (1997). His best works combine intricate plots with rich characters, sinister criminals, all with a comedic touch. His later works (from 2000 and beyond) are of lesser quality.

  11. 4 out of 5

    K

    Pages filled with Ed McBain's dialogue are like Lay's Potato Chips-- betcha can't read just one! McBain has written a twisting, turning plot that follows the money... And the interconnected lives of a diverse set of crooks and cops. We gain more insight into fat Ollie Weeks-- his bigotry and his surprising flashes of competence as a cop-- a character one can love to hate. We enjoy Detective Carella's grudgingly revealing himself and his fears-- making him that much more of a favorite character Pages filled with Ed McBain's dialogue are like Lay's Potato Chips-- betcha can't read just one! McBain has written a twisting, turning plot that follows the money... And the interconnected lives of a diverse set of crooks and cops. We gain more insight into fat Ollie Weeks-- his bigotry and his surprising flashes of competence as a cop-- a character one can love to hate. We enjoy Detective Carella's grudgingly revealing himself and his fears-- making him that much more of a favorite character in this series. So all in all, this book races along, carrying the reader in a pleasurable ride. Yes, there's a lot of profanity contained in the dialogue-- but it never seems gratuitous; rather it seems real and natural to the characters. A great read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    All McBain is good, no question, but I have to admit, this isn't one of my favorites. I wasn't completely sold on the ending -- I wanted a little more resolution to the conspiracy nature of the plot. Other than that, though, some great moments with Carella and Fat Ollie Weeks (particularly his piano lesson), and I enjoyed watching the plot's moving parts all click together.

  13. 5 out of 5

    J. Ewbank

    Another 87 precince story. There is conflict, there is greed, and there is money, money, money. This is a good and quick read and enjoyable. J. Robert Ewbank, author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"

  14. 5 out of 5

    L

    Ed McBain is just SO good! Today I'm in the need for distraction, so I'm about to begin another of his books.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aileen Bernadette Urquhart

    Excellent book. Involved plot that kept me guessing, great characters. Carella's personal issues were solved a bit too glibly at the end, but hey, this is Crime, not Psychological Thriller.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jan Norton

    This is my first 87th Precinct Mysteries that I read. There were some funny scenes and some pretty sad ones. It is Christmas in the city, but it isn't the giving season. A retired Gulf War pilot, a careless second-story man, a pair of angry Mexicans, and an equally shady pair of Secret Service agents are in town after a large stash of money, and no one is interested in sharing. The detectives at the 87th are already busy for the holidays. Steve Carella and Fat Ollie Weeks catch the squeal when This is my first 87th Precinct Mysteries that I read. There were some funny scenes and some pretty sad ones. It is Christmas in the city, but it isn't the giving season. A retired Gulf War pilot, a careless second-story man, a pair of angry Mexicans, and an equally shady pair of Secret Service agents are in town after a large stash of money, and no one is interested in sharing. The detectives at the 87th are already busy for the holidays. Steve Carella and Fat Ollie Weeks catch the squeal when the lions in the city zoo get an unauthorized feeding of a young woman's body. And then there's a trash can stuffed with a book salesman carrying a P-38 Walther and a wad of big bills. The bad bills and the dead book salesman lead to the offices of a respected publisher, Wadsworth and Dodds. This is good news for Fat Ollie, because he's working on a police novel -- one written by a real cop -- and he's sure it's going to be a bestseller.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joe Noir

    This novel opens with drug smuggling over the US/Mexico border. A nude woman is found torn to pieces in the lion den at the zoo which straddles the 87th and 88th precincts. A burglar is approached by the Secret Service for passing a counterfeit 100 dollar bill. A sales rep for a small publishing firm is found stuffed in a garbage can with a gunshot wound to the back of the head. A blonde picks up a drug dealer in a bar, and she and another female in a limo convince him to pay monies owed at the This novel opens with drug smuggling over the US/Mexico border. A nude woman is found torn to pieces in the lion den at the zoo which straddles the 87th and 88th precincts. A burglar is approached by the Secret Service for passing a counterfeit 100 dollar bill. A sales rep for a small publishing firm is found stuffed in a garbage can with a gunshot wound to the back of the head. A blonde picks up a drug dealer in a bar, and she and another female in a limo convince him to pay monies owed at the point of an AK-47. Terrorists are planning a bombing at Clarendon Hall during a violin concert. Fat Ollie Weeks saves Steve Carella’s life…twice. What ties all these disparate plots points together? Money, money, money! Another of the best of the 87th Precinct novels. For all of the dark content, this is one of the funniest books in the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ford

    he got the plot so involved with so many people he didn't have a good ending. Not up to the Ed McBain books I use to listen to when driving to work.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ren

    Not bad, although the earlier 87th precinct books are better.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lise

    I liked this storyline of this one love the spider plot where everything is connected in some way

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Although it had what seemed a bit of kookiness in it, I really enjoyed this book. Espionage! Terrorists! Ollie is such a jerk, but that's the character.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    A winner from Ed McBain. You have a woman flying ace bringing dope back from Mexico. She gets paid $200,000. Her apartment gets robbed by some two-bit thief. He tries to spend some of the cash he stole and gets nabbed by the Secret Service. She gets killed and thrown in with the lions at the city zoo. You have drug dealers, a book seller shot and stuffed in a garbage can, inept terrorists and fat Ollie the detective working with the 87th. Great book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Eric_W

    I don't know how he does it. McBain, a.k.a. Evan Hunter, author of The Blackboard Jungle, has been turning out excellent police procedurals for half a century. Most are based on a mythical 87th Precinct in an unidentified city resembling New York. All have great plot lines and wonderful dialogue that often borders on the hysterical. It's like having a bunch of guys get together and have them talk at cross purposes in short, staccato phrases that individually make sense, but together have an I don't know how he does it. McBain, a.k.a. Evan Hunter, author of The Blackboard Jungle, has been turning out excellent police procedurals for half a century. Most are based on a mythical 87th Precinct in an unidentified city resembling New York. All have great plot lines and wonderful dialogue that often borders on the hysterical. It's like having a bunch of guys get together and have them talk at cross purposes in short, staccato phrases that individually make sense, but together have an undercurrent of lunacy or ridiculousness that is very amusing. That's not to say sex and violence are absent. McBain provides a real sense of the horror, seaminess and corruption that pervade society. This, the 51st in the 87th Precinct series, may be one of his best and most convoluted. Detective Fat Ollie Weeks of the 88th squad is introduced in this one — to me, anyway, after all I haven't been able to read all of them yet. He gets involved because the leg of a murder victim winds up in his turf, the killers having tried to dispose of the body by throwing her, an ex-military pilot flying drugs across the Mexican border, to the lions. The detectives and SWAT team gather to try to determine how to retrieve what's left before the lion polishes off the remains. "They ran for the guillotine doors, the lion behind them, ran into the tunnel under the moat, and up the ramp, into the run behind the holding cages, startling Hardy, who realized too late that a lion was loose. He stabbed the button that began closing the guillotine doors behind the three vets — but the lion was inside as well. The doors clanged shut. Everyone was suddenly in a long, narrow holding cage with a lion who'd just had his first taste of human flesh. The access door to the work area was at the far end of the cage. Between the door and the lion were four zoo keepers, three veterinarians, two animal behaviorists, two curators, an assistant director, a director, three detectives, and a partridge in a pear tree." Now, that partridge makes that a classic paragraph in my book. The lion goes after Steve Carella, the common thread in the precinct series, who is saved by Fat Ollie Weeks at the last minute. Now Steve owes him one. Ollie is an aspiring novelist and pianist. Anyone who has ever taken piano lessons will appreciate the recital [pun intended:] of his conversation with his teacher. Ollie, who has more self-esteem than realism, declares he is having trouble with the first three notes of the exercise. His teacher, exasperated, suggests perhaps he has no talent, an impossibility in Ollie's book. " 'But those first three notes are one and the same note! Bom, bom, bom,' she said, striking the same note again and again and again. 'It is impossible for you to be having trouble with the identical note struck three times. It is physically impossible, Mr. Weeks. Bom, bom, bom,' she said, hitting the note again. 'It's so simple a rodent could tap it out with his nose.' 'It isn't that I haven't been practicing,' he said." I'll spare you a recitation of the plot. It's wonderful. Suffice to say, it involves counterfeit money, the Secret Service, the FBI, two precincts, Fat Ollie, some Iranian terrorists, an Israeli violinist, a burglar wooing a call girl, and a publishing house that's really a CIA front masquerading as drug smugglers. You can't go wrong with Ed McBain.

  24. 4 out of 5

    David Schwinghammer

    When I first read an 87th precinct novel, I didn't like it. Not enough character development. Later, I went to a book sale at the library, got three of them in one book for a quarter. After reading all three, I got to know the detectives and their back stories. Steve Carella is the center of the stories. He's got a deaf mute wife and a son and a daughter, fraternal twins. He also has a chip on his shoulder over the way his father died (in a stick-up) and how the case was handled. Meyer Meyer is When I first read an 87th precinct novel, I didn't like it. Not enough character development. Later, I went to a book sale at the library, got three of them in one book for a quarter. After reading all three, I got to know the detectives and their back stories. Steve Carella is the center of the stories. He's got a deaf mute wife and a son and a daughter, fraternal twins. He also has a chip on his shoulder over the way his father died (in a stick-up) and how the case was handled. Meyer Meyer is Carella's bald, Jewish sidekick, and Burt Kling is the youngest member of the squad and the resident lady's man. There's a black detective named Brown. Another amazing thing about these books is that McBain has invented his own city. Of course, it's based on New York. I read someplace that he did this to avoid research. There's always some eagle-eyed reader who knows New York better than the writer. MONEY, MONEY, MONEY is exactly what it sounds like. Everybody's after a big stash. A cocaine deal unravels and the abused parties are all out to get their money back. A retired Gulf War pilot is the most interesting of those involved. She makes Kinsey Millhone look like Little Orphan Annie. Fat Ollie Weeks draws jurisdiction in one of the ensuing murders. One of the culprits is literally thrown to the lions. Fat Ollie is one of my favorite recurring characters. McBain is having fun thumbing his nose at the PC police. Ollie hates everybody; he even does a W.C. Fields impression. Another satirical element is the front for the cocaine operation. Would you believe a publishing house? Every once in a while I hit a bad stretch where every book I buy stinks, but I'm too cheap to quit reading. The problem is always easily remedied, though, if there's an 87th precinct novel at hand.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    This is the 51st book in McBains 87th Precinct series another very good read. This one starts out with the murder of a female ex-military pilot who took on a side job as a drug runner her body found in pieces difficult to ID initially as she was being eaten by lions in the zoo. Eeeww! Nice beginning to the book! Before the lions got to her, however, she was stabbed in the head with an ice pick so, not suicide, not an accident the lions were there to cover up her identity. Detectives Steve This is the 51st book in McBain’s 87th Precinct series – another very good read. This one starts out with the murder of a female ex-military pilot who took on a side job as a drug runner – her body found in pieces difficult to ID initially as she was being eaten by lions in the zoo. Eeeww! Nice beginning to the book! Before the lions got to her, however, she was stabbed in the head with an ice pick – so, not suicide, not an accident – the lions were there to cover up her identity. Detectives Steve Carella and Bert Kling have help from the repulsive, racist but very good detective “Fat” Ollie Weeks from the 88th precinct (one appendage was found over the border into his precinct area, so that’s how he became responsible for 1/5 of the devoured woman’s murder case). It’s a good, full story that I thoroughly enjoyed – ok – maybe not so much the lion eating the girl and not so much Ollie’s racist remarks, they’re so far over the top you just want to smack him, yet he’s not a thoroughly unlikable character – as a person I think he would be, but as someone I’m reading about, he definitely adds color to the story. Burglary, murder, counterfeiting, death by lion (or so it seemed), a terrorist bombing – something for everyone!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tony Gleeson

    This is the 51st book in the 87th Precinct series (I've been on another McBain kick lately, still more or less in chronological order, and shall follow up with a few more). This one could almost pass for one of Donald Westlake's complicated capers, filled as it is with international intrigue, drug smuggling, counterfeit money, nasty drug dealers both domestic and imported, an appealing Gulf War veteran soldier-of-fortune (who happens to be a gorgeous redheaded female), two blonde lady assassins, This is the 51st book in the 87th Precinct series (I've been on another McBain kick lately, still more or less in chronological order, and shall follow up with a few more). This one could almost pass for one of Donald Westlake's complicated capers, filled as it is with international intrigue, drug smuggling, counterfeit money, nasty drug dealers both domestic and imported, an appealing Gulf War veteran soldier-of-fortune (who happens to be a gorgeous redheaded female), two blonde lady assassins, IranIan terrorists, a supposedly respectable business fronting a money laundering operation, duplicitous Treasury agents... it goes on and on but somehow manages to also involve the boys of the 87th precinct as well as detective Fat Ollie Weeks of the 88th. There's even a victim fed to lions. A new tack for McBain and handled skillfully and entertainingly as he follows what seems like an unending series of story threads masterfully. Great fun, even if the latter books in the series leave the feeling he had begun to tire of his usual cast of characters.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    #51 in the 87th Precinct series. Finalist 2002 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel. 87th Precinct mysteries - Carella and Meyer must team up on a murder investigation with Fat Ollie Weeks of the 88th because the lion habitat at the Isola Zoo straddles the boundary between the two precincts and one of the lions dragged part of a victim's body onto the 88th's turf. The body in the lion's den leads the detectives to several things: to a burglary, or at least the burglar; to some strange doings by the #51 in the 87th Precinct series. Finalist 2002 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel. 87th Precinct mysteries - Carella and Meyer must team up on a murder investigation with Fat Ollie Weeks of the 88th because the lion habitat at the Isola Zoo straddles the boundary between the two precincts and one of the lions dragged part of a victim's body onto the 88th's turf. The body in the lion's den leads the detectives to several things: to a burglary, or at least the burglar; to some strange doings by the Secret Service; to some pretty big local drug dealers; and, finally, to some big-time dealers who don't mind leaving bodies strewn about. It also leads to Carella's needing to be saved more than once, first by his fellow officers and later by himself.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vannessa Anderson

    Ed McBain is the leader when it comes to writing police crime thrillers! When I read a 87th precinct novel I know Im going to get the real deal. Ed McBain writes from the hip and he takes no prisoners and he doesnt concern himself with being politically correct. None of the detectives are portrayed as superhuman. They are racists, have personal problems, have mental health issues and come from backgrounds not unlike the readers. The detectives at the 87th are looking for the killers of a young Ed McBain is the leader when it comes to writing police crime thrillers! When I read a 87th precinct novel I know I’m going to get the real deal. Ed McBain writes from the hip and he takes no prisoners and he doesn’t concern himself with being politically correct. None of the detectives are portrayed as superhuman. They are racists, have personal problems, have mental health issues and come from backgrounds not unlike the readers. The detectives at the 87th are looking for the killers of a young woman who was drugged then place in the lion’s den at the zoo. To solve the case, the detectives must tie the murder to a bookseller. Garrick Hagon’s storytelling will hold you captive.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    I really didn't like this book. If it hadn't been a Book Club pick, I'd never have finished it. Too dark, too violent, too depressing... There were a lot of undefined characters who came and went, and whose parts in the story were murky. Even at the end, when all was revealed, I was still kind of confused. Just seems like there were a lot of storylines going on at once to keep up with. I don't know whether this dark underbelly truly exists to this degree, but, if so, I don't want to know about I really didn't like this book. If it hadn't been a Book Club pick, I'd never have finished it. Too dark, too violent, too depressing... There were a lot of undefined characters who came and went, and whose parts in the story were murky. Even at the end, when all was revealed, I was still kind of confused. Just seems like there were a lot of storylines going on at once to keep up with. I don't know whether this dark underbelly truly exists to this degree, but, if so, I don't want to know about it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Taylor

    Not a bad entry in the long series of cop novels by McBain. A story of drug smuggling, counterfeiting, and a secret behind it all. I'm less fond of the "Fat" Ollie Weeks character not because he's a bigot, but because he's so often just a cartoon. He also alternates irrationally between completely incompetent idiot and great cop based on the plot requirement. But it was a decent story with some interesting police work.

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