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The Pusher by Ed McBain

The Pusher (1956)

by Ed McBain

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: 87th Precinct (3)

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3371049,400 (3.67)27



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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
If you liked the TV show Hill Street Blues, you'll probably enjoy this series. Ed McBain invented the police procedural subgenre in which a whole precinct is the hero rather than an individual detective and that is provided the basis for such ensemble TV shows...

In this 3rd book in the series, we meet again Detective Steve Carella who was featured in the first book but the story really revolves around his boss, Lieutenant Byrnes. The plot could have been set last year instead of in 1956; it is rather a sad commentary about drug use in the U.S. that this is so... ( )
  leslie.98 | Mar 7, 2017 |
I've been a chain reader for 56 years. It's impossible to be a book junkie and not be aware of the 87th precinct series. I've been passing them over since the mid nineties. Somehow, I caved and decided to give the series a test run. In the last three days, I've completed the first three novels. Well damn, WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG??? Mr McBain was a really clever writer, whose work I am thoroughly enjoying. I won't stop until I've read them all. Thank you, thank you Mr. Mac. ( )
  briellenadyne | Oct 1, 2016 |
The third book in the 87th Precinct series is a more standard entry into the police procedural genre. But at the same time, it manages to reach an emotional depth somewhat unusual for the time period.

The plot is pretty straight forward. A pair of patrolmen stumble upon a apparent junkie suicide. But sometimes things aren't as easy as they seem, and the suicide squeal quickly turns into a multiple homicide investigation that threatens to become blackmail when Lt. Byrnes son becomes linked to the drug scene. The bulls at the 87th are relegated mainly to the footwork, as most of the behind the scenes action involves Byrnes as he struggles with his son's involvement. Byrnes goes as far as to fill Carella in on the situation, a decision that almost proves to be fatal.

Apart from some of the dated aspects one would expect from a well-reserched police drama from the fifties, the bulk of the novel is your typical expose on the brutal world of the street level drug trade. But as usual, McBain delves into the emotional causes and ramifications of the Heroin users and dealers. The most revealing of these is the personal and professional turmoil faced by Lt. Byrnes with the revelation that his son is a Heroin addict. Adding to the emotional doubt of where he has gone wrong with his son, and the constant battle between anger and compassion, is the dilemma of whether or not to cover up his son's possible involvement in a crime, especially when a mysterious third party with knowledge of his son's connection attempts to blackmail him for police protection.

McBain doesn't just focus on the 87th detectives. Glimpses into the lives of low key players in the drug scene shows the many facets of human frailty and desperation and prevents the broad generalizations that many crime dramas easily fall into. Even the closer look at Carella's relationship with stoolie Danny the Gimp is both touching and revealing. But to McBain's credit, none of this detailed attention to the human element detracts from the gritty realism that is typical of this series.
  smichaelwilson | Mar 27, 2016 |
So far my favorite of the series, although I'm reading in order and it's only book 3 ( )
  JonathanGorman | Jun 13, 2015 |
Third of McBain's 87th Precinct mysteries shows the author growing in confidence, but this time out the plot lacks a satisfactory resolution and it is left to the characters to capture the reader's interest. ( )
  SteveAldous | Jun 11, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ed McBainprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ellis, DeanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Negretti, AndreinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
This is for Evelyn and Dick
First words
Winter came in like an anarchist with a bomb.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
An omnibus of several novels; not the 3rd "87 Precinct" novel.
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Information from the Norwegian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Canonical DDC/MDS

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743463056, Mass Market Paperback)

Most suicides don't realize the headaches they cause....

Two a.m. in the bitter cold of winter: the young Hispanic man's body was found in a tenement basement. The rope around his neck suggested a clear case of suicide -- until the autopsy revealed he'd overdosed on heroin. He was a pusher, and now a thousand questions pressed down on the detectives of the 87th Precinct: Who set up the phony hanging? Whose fingerprints were on the syringe found at the scene? Who was making threatening phone calls, attempting to implicate Lieutenant Byrnes' teenage son? Somebody was pushing the 87th Precinct hard, and Detective Steve Carella and Lieutenant Pete Byrnes have to push back harder -- before a frightening and deadly chain tightens its grip.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:36 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

CRIME & MYSTERY. A bitterly cold night offers up a body turned blue ? not frozen, but swinging from a rope in a dank basement. The dead teen seems like a clear case of suicide, but Detective Steve Carella and Lieutenant Peter Byrnes find a few facts out of place, and an autopsy confirms their suspicions. The boy hadn't hung himself but OD?d on heroin before an unknown companion strung him up to hide the true cause of death. The revelation dredges up enough muck to muddy the waters of what should?ve been an open-and-shut case. To find the answers to a life gone off the rails, Carella and Byrnes face a deep slog into the community of users and pushers ? but a grim phone calls discloses that very community already has its claws in a cop's son. A new pusher is staking a claim right under the 87th Precinct's noses, and it's up to Carella and Byrnes to snag the viper before it poisons their whole lives.… (more)

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