A crime story with a fairly complex plot, following a police investigation into several apparently unrelated crimes that turn out to be interlinked, and draws in themes of drugs, money laundering and international terrorism. The story is provided both from the point of view of the police and the various other parties, so the reader knows more than the characters and there is plenty of scope for dramatic irony.
I was very impressed with this book, it reminds me of Elmore Leonard a bit (but maybe that's because I've just finished a couple of Leonard books), in the way that some of the criminals are big-talking but at times comically inept. One scene in particular, where they'd wired one guy and he was trying to get a dealer to confess on tape to one of the murders was so funny I was nearly crying.
I don't know if all McBain's books are like this, but there was almost too much story here; compared with Leonard, where the characters seem to drift along and a plot coalesces in their wake, this felt like the author had a definite sequence of events in mind and let the characters react to them. But this is more of an observation than a criticism.
This is the 51st book of the "87th Precinct" novels, and assuming that it's typical of the series, then I'm pretty excited about the other 50...
Completed : 24-Feb-2003