Amazon has recently started reprinting the 87th Precinct series in both paperback and Kindle editions. In their promotional material I was intrigued by the statements from authors I admire, Stephen King foremost among them. You may or may night like Mr. King's novels, but he is a master of prose and understands good writing. When King says that McBain "taught a whole generation of baby boomers how to write stories that were not only entertaining, but that truthfully reflected the times and the culture" you should take notice.
There are many who say that, with the 87th Precinct Series, McBain brought the police procedure story into it's full potential. Shows like Law and Order, NCIS, and many others would not exist without McBain's influence.
In Mugger, the city is in fear of a strange mugger who attacks women, takes their purses, hits them and then thanks them before running away. The detectives of the 87th Precinct are trying to find any lead that will lead them to this man.
In the meantime Patrolman Bert Kling is recovering from a gunshot wound. An friend from his old neighborhood with a teenage sister-in-law asks Kling to talk to to the young woman who seems to be in some trouble. When the young lady is killed the mugger is suspected and Kling begins to investigate on his own.
The story is enjoyable and well written. The characters seem real as they populate the story. Of course the police methods used in the early sixties would be rather frowned upon today, they do reflect the times in which the book was written This is my first McBain novel, so I am not sure how the entire series unfolds. I don't know if the series is character driven or simply driven by the Precinct. I intend to find out.
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