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Six victims. Same gun. No link. The final 87th Precinct novel from the master...
It started with the blind violinist - shot twice through the head at point-blank range in the alley outside his dingy restaurant. But it's only when the omelette lady gets shot with the same gun in the same way twenty-four hours later that the 87th Precinct really starts to sit up and take notice.
But Steve Carella and the boys at the Precinct always seem to be one step behind the killer, and are unable to prevent the death toll rising. The trouble is, while the gun is the same, none of the victims seem to be related in any way. And why is the killer heard to introduce himself as 'Chuck' before pumping two bullets into their bodies?
FIDDLERS is a brilliantly twisting puzzle of a book where nothing is as it seems and the pace never lets up - Ed McBain at his very best.
MWA Grand Master McBain's 55th 87th Precinct police procedural suffers by comparison with 2004's Hark! as well as other top books in this iconic series, but still has plenty of good moments. A killer living the high life is exacting the last full measure of revenge. As his victims pile up, the 87th falls prey to the FMU or "first man up" rule. Since the initial victim, a blind violinist shot in the face, was done on the 87th's turf, all subsequent murders are theirs as well. More are not long in arriving; each victim shot in the face at close range with the same 9mm Glock. The whole cast of the 87th is stretched thin trying to track down clues in geographically disparate killings. This gives McBain license to update us on such matters as the romance between Bert Kling and Sharyn Cooke and Fat Ollie Weeks's courtship of Patricia Gomez. All are searching for the one lead that will pan out gold. While McBain siphons off some suspense by making the reader privy to the killer's actions, and his trademark dialogue isn't as crisp as usual, he still delivers dependable entertainment.