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Two psychos are loose in the 87th precinct: one is killing female members of a local college track team, then hanging their bodies on lampposts; the other is a rapist who returns to assault the same women (about a dozen of them) over and over again. Lots of solid McBain-style procedure ensues, then--with veteran Carella heading the murder investigation: interviews with victims' friends and families, detailed analysis of evidence, extensive legwork to trace the movements of the killer. Meanwhile, Detective Annie Rawles of the Rape Squad is hard at work on the repeat-rapist case--with veteran decoy Eileen Burke moving into the apartment of one of the victims. So the two cases will be solved at just about the same time--and, unfortunately, with just about the same level of psychological conviction: again, as in many recent 87th precinct outings, McBain gives his criminals elaborate, issue-related, implausible madness/motivation. Disappointing, too, is the excess of cutesy/sit-com padding here (re the cops' sex lives)--not to mention McBain's self-indulgent asides about a certain TV show's supposed borrowings from the 87th precinct. Nonetheless: sturdy reading for the procedural audience.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Arbor House