In the forty-first installment of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series, the detectives of the 87th ring in the New Year with a particularly gruesome crime when a couple returns home from a New Year’s Eve party to find the sixteen-year-old babysitter knifed to death and their baby smothered. The likeliest suspect appears to be the boyfriend that the babysitter threw over a few weeks earlier, but he’s proving hard to find and, given the fact that the crimes occurred on the hardest-partying night of the year, witness statements are not as reliable as they otherwise might be.
While Steve Carella and Meyer Meyer try to find the party responsible for the killings, Detective Bert Kling finds himself in the middle of a war between two drug gangs that is becoming increasingly vicious. Both sides seem to be very well-armed and Kling, unfortunately seems to be right in the middle of the crossfire.
Finally, another detective who had a very unsettling experience in the last novel in the series is determined to quit the force but is having trouble convincing the department’s psychiatrist to sign off on the resignation. It all adds up to another fast-paced and compelling story from one of the masters of the genre.