TRICKS by Ed. McBain


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More from the 87th Precinct--where things peaked about a decade ago (with such distinctive, original stories as Long Time No See), then settled into a competent, streetwise, uninspired groove. Like other recent entries, this one offers a sturdy montage of familiar police-procedural mini-plots, with a sprinkling of quirky, grotesque, only semi-convincing touches--all occurring on Halloween. Plot #1: policewoman Eileen Burke poses as a prostitute in a sleazy bar in order to lure and trap a psycho who has been flashing hookers. (Her cop-boyfriend provides un-official, maverick backup support--with near-fatal results.) Plot #2: a series of liquor stores is held up by a quartet of trigger-happy, costumed ""children""--who turn out to be ruthless midgets. Plot #3: a magician disappears, and what seem to be parts of his dismembered body turn up all over town. And meanwhile veteran cops Carella and Meyer recover from gunshot wounds in the hospital--which is unfortunate, because none of the younger officers provides the sort of character-appeal that made bygone Carella/Meyer outings richly absorbing. Serviceable recyclings, then, somewhere between Dell Shannon and Hill Street Blues--with steady action, solid atmosphere, a few black-comic chuckles, but no chills or surprises.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1987
Publisher: Arbor House