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Mischief [Mass Market Paperback]

Ed McBain

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Book Description

July 1 2003 87th Precinct Mysteries

A punk wielding a spray can is no match for a killer armed with a gun -- and a deadly aim to knock off the city's graffiti artists. One by one, the young scribblers are found murdered, maliciously coated with paint and blood. Detective Steve Carella can't see the writing on the wall -- yet. Meanwhile, the Deaf Man, the 87th Precinct's longtime tormentor, is leading its cops, clue by maddening clue, to uncover a heinous crime that will make the graffiti killer look like an amateur. It's all primed to go down at a raucous rock and rap concert -- but who's going to take the rap?


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (July 1 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743463099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743463096
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 16.2 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 213 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,953,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The virtuoso 55th installment in McBain's 87th Precinct series.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

McBain's 45th novel of the 87th Precinct--and you can see that practice has made this latest not perfect but perfectly easy to enjoy, with--per the formula--several parallel plots, fueled not by their modest inventiveness but by the author's confident prose: McBain knows these cops and their city of Isola like Satan knows sin, and it shows. Even the chief villain is familiar: the Deaf Man, resurrected from Eight Black Horses (1985), etc., and up to his old trick of laying tantalizing clues to a big crime--here, excerpts from a scholarly work on crowd behavior mailed to arch-nemesis cop Steve Carella as the Deaf Man plans unspecified mayhem connected to an upcoming free outdoor rap concert. (In addition to tracing the Deaf Man's elaborate planning--including tinkering with the concert's sound system and stealing a garbage truck--McBain follows one rap group's prep for the concert, which flowers into a touching romance between a singer and a composer's widow.) Also on the precinct's plate is a series of murders of graffiti artists--with one of the victims being not the expected inner-city rebel but the respected attorney in whose closet the cops find a stash of spray-paint cans. And then there's the rash of ``dumpings'' around Isola of Alzheimer's sufferers, with all identifying tags ripped from their clothing. Several subplots--a hostage crisis; a clash of pro-lifers and pro-choicers that sees Carella's deaf-mute wife drenched in blood--add further gritty big-city texture, and McBain closes out the three major cases in clever, though not inspired, fashion: most gripping is the aftermath of the Deaf Man's big caper, a noir-style fadeout in a hot-sheets motel. Not up to the series' best but still steadily engrossing cop- fare from an old hand. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical, marvelous novel Dec 29 2004
By J. Clemons - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mischief has the Deaf Man as its main character and what a main character he is. Is there a smarter character, hero or villain, in crime fiction than the Deaf Man? No way. (Is he McBain's DARK alter ego, as Hope and Carella are his "good" alter ego?) As per usual, bad things are happening in the big bad city. But the Deaf Man creates special problems for the 87th. He provides (and harrasses) Carella and his mates with clues etc. to his upcoming nefarious action, which will take place on a grand scale. But the best part of this story concerns a black rap band and its leader--no p.c. condescension in his treatment of the band, the rock concert of which they are to be a major act and their plot action, just honest, good and accurate writing about our "in trouble" society and about the individuals whose stories actually make this society come to life. A killing near the end of the story takes your breath away and gives much "haunting" food for thought. Much mischief in the city. Cops really are having trouble capturing and containing the bad guys. No plot spoilers here. Read the book. It is great.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trouble at the 87th Nov. 7 2006
By Beverley Strong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The men of the 87th precinct are being sent strange, cryptic messages from "The Deaf Man" who issues guarded warnings about a disruptive event which is about to take place, but couches these warnings in the form of pages from a sci-fi novel. The event is actually a huge rock/rap fest where thousands will be present at an outdoor venue. Much of this story centres on a rap group and the author offers a few of his examples of this genre, none of which does anything for me personally but...to each his own! The other main story surrounds the murders of graffiti writers who deface public and private buildings with their ugly scrawl and who are now being shot by a person unknown. It ewas an ok story but lacked the zip and sizzle of some earlier ones.
4.0 out of 5 stars More adventures of the cops of the 87th Precinct July 10 2013
By Jim Lester - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is another terrific entry in McBain's long running 87th Precinct series of police novels. Its a well plotted combination of three short stories that come together to make a book. One storyline involves dumping elderly people when they become too difficult to care for. Another one is about someone murdering the city's graffiti artists and the third one deals with the Deaf Man's heist of the precinct's stock of confiscated drugs. The Deaf Man is a recurrent villain in the series and his appearance always wrecks havoc with the cops of the 87th. As always the book is well written and the three stories combine for a fun read.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better. Aug. 5 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is almost like reading three books in one. One of the stories is about people with Alheimer's Disease who are being abandoned at hospitals all over the city.
Another story is about a serial killer who enjoys killing people who like to spray paint on walls.
Third--and best of all--is about a man who calls himself the Deaf Man. He is a criminal mastermind. I think McBain would have done better by leaving out the serial killings, which were just being done to cover up another crime, and he should have also left out the Alheimers cases and made the Deaf Man the only story in the book. It was the only story that held my attention. The Deaf Man was intriguing and charismatic, a very clever crimal genious.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Deaf Man, mayhem, and atrocious rapping! July 26 2004
By J. Carroll - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Deaf Man and a killer of graffiti writers are the sources of MISCHIEF in this McBain installment. Kling and Parker are pursuing a possible serial killer who is targeting "writers" with one victim not quite fitting in, and the Deaf Man makes his return with one of his far-fetched schemes to sew chaos in order to make a big score. The one big mistake in this otherwise solid addition to the series is the McBain's sorry attempt to create a rap band, in this case one called Spit Shine; a band that is important to the plot but is one more example how many writers are "tone deaf" to rap. Reading McBain's attempts at rap lyrics are painful to say the least and embarrassing to say the most. Docked a star for the weak lyrics, this is still a good addition to the series.

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