Book Review – KILLER’S CHOICE (1958) by Ed McBain

KILLER’S CHOICE (1958) ****
by Ed McBain
This paperback edition published by Penguin, 1986, 160pp (155pp)
First published in 1958 (USA)
© Ed McBain, 1958
ISBN: 978-0-140-01972-3
Blurb: Someone killed Annie Boone, but was she an innocent victim or the target of a hit? As Detectives Carella and Kling of the 87th precinct pick up the pieces of her interrupted life, they move relentlessly closer to some answers yet farther from others. Struggling to find the weak link, the detectives find themselves facing a cold, hard truth they’d prefer not to know.
Comment: This is the fifth of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct books and it is the most assured to date. McBain weaves a whodunnit plot around a complex victim and a number of suspects through which the detectives of the 87th are required to navigate their way. The team are led down a number of blind alleys as they discover Annie Boone, the victim of a murder in a liquor store, led different lives according to the men she attracted. Throw in a divorced husband and a custody fight for the couple’s daughter with the victim’s mother and there is plenty to keep the reader interested. McBain is as assured as ever and has his characters feel very real through their interactions and dialogue. The wrap up again feels a little rushed, but once a case breaks the resolution almost takes care of itself.