Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Read: "Nocturne" by Ed McBain

Read: Nocturne, by Ed McBain, 1995? (I cannot find the damn thing).

I brought this home after weeding it at work. There were a box full of McBains that had not circ'ed in years and I laid claim to them. I wanted to keep them on the library shelves but could not justify the space. It had been quite a few years since I had listened or read any of the series.

Carella and Hawes are working the nightshift and get a murder call. A woman in her 80s was shot dead in her apartment. Carella and Hawes investigate. I'll be honest I don't remember much about the whole story. The woman used to be a famous pianist, born in Russian (Ukraine?) and praised throughout Europe. At her death she was an alcoholic living in a cheap apartment with no friends and estranged relatives.

Carella and Hawes try to figure out what happened. A burglary? Maybe.

Granddaughter of woman sings in hotel bar and has two boyfriends her share her. Granddaughter gets message from her dead grandmother to check a locker at the bus station. The boyfriends check it out and find about $100,000 or so. They keep $95,000 and give $5,000 to gal. Gal investigates expecting more money. Gal's investigation and Carella's lead to guy who shot her.

Guy Who Shot Her is also an immigrant.
Guy Who Shot Her made friends with Old Lady. Old Lady asked him to kill her. She was arthritic and no longer able to play piano and just had word a brain tumor was going to take her hearing.

Was there a subplot? I don't recall anything beyond Carella's son being sick. Oh, yeah now I remember. Fat Ollie Weeks catches a call after a hooker and drug dealer are murdered. Ollie is such a fucking scumbag. He is also a great detective. I liked the subplot of three prep school kids, all named Richard, who come to the city 1) Meet a drug dealer names Richard, 2) Kill a hooker and dispose of body with help of Drug Richard, 3) Kill Drug Richard, 4) Head back to school leaving enough witnesses and physical evidence for, 5) Weeks to waddle into the school chapel during choir practice. I liked the subplot better.

1. I always like when McBain refers to himself in novels. This novel has a part where the rear of a limo is filled with feathers. The event reminds a couple cops of The Birds. McBain fits in a couple conversations by different characters that go roughly like this:
1st guy: "You know, that movie Hitchcock wrote."
2nd guy: "I don't think Hitchcock wrote it."
McBain, of course, wrote The Birds under his real name.
2. Another novel has characters discussing Hill Street Blues and the show's incredible similarity to the 87th Precinct and the cops working there. The characters, if I remember correctly, think about how maybe they should sue somebody over the similarities.

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