by Sukey HowardMarch, 1999
In his latest mystery of the 87th Precinct, Ed McBain is back in Isola, his convincing clone of the Big Apple, and it truly is a Big Bad City. Bad is the word for the case that Detectives Carella and Brown catch late one humid August night. The pretty blonde victim turns out to be a nun; she's been strangled, and the solution will take the detectives to another time and another place. One plot is never enough for McBain, who reads here in his appropriate New York-Isola accent. Carella is being tailed by a young thug who wants to waste him, and two other members of the 87th are on the trail of a polite burglar who invariably treats his burglarees to a box of cookies. The pulse and pace of the big, bad city resonate, and the tensions (racial and otherwise), simmer, always threatening to boil over (6 hours).