Monday, March 28, 2016

A Mysterious Death Bedevils the Detectives of the 87th Precinct

The fiftieth novel in the 87th Precinct series may not be the best of the bunch, but it's still a pretty good read. When a woman named Cynthia Keating calls the 87th Precinct to report that she has found her father, Andrew Hale, lying dead in bed, apparently of a heart attack, Detectives Steve Carella and Meyer Meyer respond.

The woman insists that she walked in the door and found her father lying just as the detectives see him, but the detectives wonder why the dead man is lying under the covers, fully clothed except for his shoes. They wonder why Cynthia called the cops instead of simply phoning for a doctor or an ambulance. Mostly they wonder why the corpse's feet and lower legs show signs of postmortem lividity, an indication that the man was almost certainly hanged.

Things are obviously not as they appear and the more the detectives dig into the case, the stranger things appear. The investigation will take Carella and Meyer into the world of the theater and into a couple of seedy strip clubs as well. Along the way, a long-time character in the series will be lost, creating yet another investigation that must be pursued. It's another very good read that nonetheless leaves any long-time reader of the series more than a little depressed, knowing that there are only four books remaining in it.

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