The city in these pages is imaginary.I read my first 87th Precinct novel about a third of a century ago, back in the summer of 1973, as I was haunting the Lake Mills, Iowa, public library for stuff to read that long lonely summer.
The people, the places, are all fictitious.
Only the police routine is based on established investigatory technique.
But that's nothing. Ed McBain, the pseudonym of Evan Hunter, had been writing them for almost a half century, since 1956. Like all good series, devotees want to know what the characters are up to; how are their lives working out?
But this is the last one, since Evan Hunter died last year. So reading it was a bittersweet experience. For better or worse, there's no closure on any of the threads running through the series. The Deaf Man is still at large. Steve Carella is still a mensch, but still sorely put upon, this time by his misbehaving daughter. Bert Kling's love life is still in a ditch. Ollie Weeks, always a great detective, continues his largely clueless quest to become a better human being. Meyer's still bald. Et cetera.
And there's also a serial killer rambling through the Big Bad City, shooting random people in the face. Or so it seems.
I will miss checking in to see what's going on with my acquaintences in the 87th.