Review: The Mugger, by Ed McBain

This is the second book in McBain’s legendary 87th Precinct series, set in a fictionalised (albeit recognisable) New York City. McBain was experimenting with the idea of a whole team as ‘hero’ of the series and deliberately removed the lead character from the first book, Steve Carella, sending him off on his honeymoon and leaving the action to the other cops. The story is a good one, though I for one thought the ending became fairly obvious several pages earlier (too many clues). And the attempt to add a romantic scene in a restaurant was an embarrassing failure. And yet, we can see a brilliant series in the making and we meet for the first time characters who will be around for many decades to come.