Book Review – LIKE LOVE (1962) by Ed McBain

LIKE LOVE (1962) ***
by Ed McBain
This paperback edition published by Mandarin, 1992, 176pp
First published in 1962
© Ed McBain, 1962
ISBN: 978-0-7493-0898-8
Blurb: A young girl jumps to her death. A salesman gets blown apart. Two semi-naked bodies are found dead on a bed with all the hallmarks of a love pact. Spring really was here for the 87th Precinct. Steve Carella and Cotton Hawes thought the double suicide stank of homicide, but they just couldn’t get a break. Fortunately, Hawes has something else going on in his life at the moment – something like love.
Comment: The sixteenth book in Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series sees the squad investigating a seeming suicide, but suspecting murder. This represents a new angle for McBain as the book opens with another suicide, a girl jilted in love who Carella fails to talk down from a high-rise window ledge. The main plot revolves around the seeming pact between secret lovers. McBain carries the story forward through his regular cast of detectives, with Kling still grieving from the events of Lady, Lady, I Dit It! For the most part, the mystery remains intriguing and it seems it will go cold. The case is eventually solved, but, unusually for McBain, the motivation behind the killing feels extremely weak here. As a result, despite the author’s trademark dialogue, this is less satisfying than the majority of the series to date.