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Tricks

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One night. One shift. No rest. Featuring the 87th Precinct’s entire cast of characters, this Halloween takes them into the darkest corners of depravity the city has to offer. And sometimes, surviving is the greatest treat of them all. From a liquor store hold-up ending with a dead owner and four costumed “kids” making off with the money to the pieces of a man showing up aro One night. One shift. No rest. Featuring the 87th Precinct’s entire cast of characters, this Halloween takes them into the darkest corners of depravity the city has to offer. And sometimes, surviving is the greatest treat of them all. From a liquor store hold-up ending with a dead owner and four costumed “kids” making off with the money to the pieces of a man showing up around the city, the Day of the Dead is turning the streets into a carnival of violence and murder. Meanwhile, a magician disappears in a stunning final act, and Detective First Class Eileen Burke poses as a hooker to lure in a serial killer. The question is, will the detectives all live to see the dawn of November? Newsweek declares bestselling author Ed McBain “has virtually reinvented the police procedural.” Interweaving rich characters, taut plotting, and sharp dialogue, Tricks is a multi-character masterpiece. Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1477827897


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One night. One shift. No rest. Featuring the 87th Precinct’s entire cast of characters, this Halloween takes them into the darkest corners of depravity the city has to offer. And sometimes, surviving is the greatest treat of them all. From a liquor store hold-up ending with a dead owner and four costumed “kids” making off with the money to the pieces of a man showing up aro One night. One shift. No rest. Featuring the 87th Precinct’s entire cast of characters, this Halloween takes them into the darkest corners of depravity the city has to offer. And sometimes, surviving is the greatest treat of them all. From a liquor store hold-up ending with a dead owner and four costumed “kids” making off with the money to the pieces of a man showing up around the city, the Day of the Dead is turning the streets into a carnival of violence and murder. Meanwhile, a magician disappears in a stunning final act, and Detective First Class Eileen Burke poses as a hooker to lure in a serial killer. The question is, will the detectives all live to see the dawn of November? Newsweek declares bestselling author Ed McBain “has virtually reinvented the police procedural.” Interweaving rich characters, taut plotting, and sharp dialogue, Tricks is a multi-character masterpiece. Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1477827897

30 review for Tricks

  1. 4 out of 5

    James Thane

    First published in 1986, Tricks is the 40th book in Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series. This entry is somewhat unique in that all of the action takes place during the course of a single day and night, a Halloween that is packed with more than a few tricks and not a lot of treats for the detectives of the 87th. One of the cases involves the disappearance of a magician who finishes a performance in a high school auditorium late in the afternoon. His wife, who is also his sexy assistant, changes out o First published in 1986, Tricks is the 40th book in Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series. This entry is somewhat unique in that all of the action takes place during the course of a single day and night, a Halloween that is packed with more than a few tricks and not a lot of treats for the detectives of the 87th. One of the cases involves the disappearance of a magician who finishes a performance in a high school auditorium late in the afternoon. His wife, who is also his sexy assistant, changes out of her costume, goes out into the parking lot and discovers that her husband’s props are scattered all over the place and he is nowhere in sight. When random male body parts then start appearing in garbage cans all over the precinct later than night, the news is not going to be good. The second case involves a series of liquor store robberies and murders that first appear to be carried out by a group of children in their holiday disguises. Mom drops them off in front of the store; they race in and demand the money from the register and then shoot the person on duty. There seems to be a pattern to the crimes, but can the detectives anticipate from that where the next robbery will be in time to stop it? Finally, Detective Eileen Burke is back working undercover after being seriously injured on her last assignment. She’s posing as a hooker in an attempt to snare a killer who’s picked up three women in the same bar and then murdered them. Burke is understandably nervous, even though she expects that the other members of her team will have her back. But will that really be the case if and when she needs them? This is a very entertaining book, one of the better ones in the series, and fans of the series will certainly want to search it out. An easy four stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carac Allison

    If you're considering reading an Ed McBain book I wouldn't advise starting at the beginning of the series. The first three were written in 1956 and although they're great they come off a little dated. The series ran from 56 until 2005! Start with "Tricks". It's a book in the latter third of the series. It has everything that's awesome about the 87th Precinct. Over a single Halloween the 87th cops try to keep up with a wild fiesta of felonies. They're trying to apprehend a thrill club of kids in co If you're considering reading an Ed McBain book I wouldn't advise starting at the beginning of the series. The first three were written in 1956 and although they're great they come off a little dated. The series ran from 56 until 2005! Start with "Tricks". It's a book in the latter third of the series. It has everything that's awesome about the 87th Precinct. Over a single Halloween the 87th cops try to keep up with a wild fiesta of felonies. They're trying to apprehend a thrill club of kids in costumes robbing liquor stores . . . except that's not what's really happening. They're picking up pieces of a magician that has been cut up by some psycho . . . except that's not what's really happening. And there's genuine suspense as an undercover cop tries to lure a serial killer. The dialogue crackles. The laughs are twisted. The pages turn themselves. Read it. And when you're hooked you can then go back and read the series in order. Carac

  3. 4 out of 5

    David Highton

    A tumultuous Halloween evening and night shift for the officers of the 87th Precinct - a carefully planned murder, armed robberies with at least 5 dead, a decoy exercise for a rapist & murderer and a major fire-starting incident for the usually hapless Genero.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Skip

    A bit dizzying, this one. Three plots, all revolving around Halloween and the book's apt title. One: the disappearance of a magician from a high school performance where pieces of his body are discovered all over the city; Two: A series of liquor store robberies with dead owners, starting with four costumed “kids” going into the stores for a treat; Three: Detective First Class Eileen Burke has to fight her demons, posing as a hooker to lure in a serial killer.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    Perhaps not my favorite of the 87th Precinct titles, but still a solid enough read for entertainment if you're in the mood for reading a police procedural. The plot involves a magician husband's disappearance and a gang of little stick up thieves.

  6. 4 out of 5

    L

    This one is just so much fun! Ok, yeah, sure, it's full of murder and mayhem. But it takes place on Halloween and McBain clearly had a ball writing it, as I did reading it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    wally

    finished this one about an hour ago, 3/25/17. good story. everyone is involved.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Bentley

    Typical 87th Precinct! Typical Ed McBain! I do love this series and first read the early books in the late 60s and early 70s. I have just started rediscovering the joys of reading McBain and his books. His writing just does it for me and I find his books addictive. I am now on my fifth in about two weeks thanks to Kindle Unlimited. They are a drug! The characters are a joy and his dialogue is fascinating. I did not intend to review any of his books as I am reading so many of them but I felt I had t Typical 87th Precinct! Typical Ed McBain! I do love this series and first read the early books in the late 60s and early 70s. I have just started rediscovering the joys of reading McBain and his books. His writing just does it for me and I find his books addictive. I am now on my fifth in about two weeks thanks to Kindle Unlimited. They are a drug! The characters are a joy and his dialogue is fascinating. I did not intend to review any of his books as I am reading so many of them but I felt I had to after reading one passage in this book. It was superb! The author describes the rather faint-hearted Detective Genero tackling a gang of arsonists and "coming of age" as a detective when he draws his service revolver shooting several of the gang. It is a superlative piece of writing, even masterful! McBain not only knows cops. I should know as a former cop and author of two undercover cop books (one a memoir and one fiction). He also knows and understands people. Fantastic book! Fantastic series!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Edwina Callan

    For the boys in blue of the 87th Precinct Halloween is a killer! This fast paced whodunit was almost impossible to put down. Highly recommended.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ginny

    Another installment in the continuing story of the 87th precinct. This one includes all of the main detectives and tells the story of the crimes committed on Halloween in the big city.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aileen Bernadette Urquhart

    Complex plot, spoilt by McBain's increasing use of near pornographic speech put in to the mouths of the perps and some of the cops.Now up to 1986. About 12 books to go.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Don

    Halloween starts out as a quiet night for the cops of the 87th Precinct, but that soon changes. A group of costumed children shoot a liquor store owner, a headless body is found, and detective Burke goes undercover as a prostitute in an attempt to catch a serial killer. This is a fun little read, but it isn't up to the quality of some of the other books in this series. One thing I've noticed is that McBain seems to place less emphasis on the lives of the detectives and their interactions with ea Halloween starts out as a quiet night for the cops of the 87th Precinct, but that soon changes. A group of costumed children shoot a liquor store owner, a headless body is found, and detective Burke goes undercover as a prostitute in an attempt to catch a serial killer. This is a fun little read, but it isn't up to the quality of some of the other books in this series. One thing I've noticed is that McBain seems to place less emphasis on the lives of the detectives and their interactions with each other in these later entries. That's unfortunate because he did such a great job with that in the earlier books that readers couldn't help but become interested in them. I also find that there are times when he seems to go for shock value which is a shame because he's too talented a writer to have to resort to that. Don't get me wrong: this is a fun read that you won't regret; it's just not quite as good as many of the earlier books about the 87th.

  13. 5 out of 5

    rabbitprincess

    * * * 1/2 Overall this is about what I expect from an 87th Precinct novel. The boys of the Eight-Seven are juggling about four different cases on a single Halloween night: an obscene phone caller, a gang of kids shooting up liquor stores, a serial killer who attacks prostitutes, and a magician who seems to have done "one last disappearing act." (Phrase cribbed from the back cover; it's a good one.) The book constantly shifts viewpoints and the action never lags. The dialogue is similarly snappy a * * * 1/2 Overall this is about what I expect from an 87th Precinct novel. The boys of the Eight-Seven are juggling about four different cases on a single Halloween night: an obscene phone caller, a gang of kids shooting up liquor stores, a serial killer who attacks prostitutes, and a magician who seems to have done "one last disappearing act." (Phrase cribbed from the back cover; it's a good one.) The book constantly shifts viewpoints and the action never lags. The dialogue is similarly snappy and overlapping: the conversation between Parker, Hawes and Brown about Parker's desire to write a book had me laughing out loud with its comic timing. I was a bit concerned about the serial-killer-targeting-prostitutes storyline, because it's not exactly the easiest thing for me to read about, but fortunately the previous murders are not discussed in extensive detail. Recommended for fans of the series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Raymond Fundora

    I first read Tricks in High School, and have since read it over a dozen times. It's a little gem of a book, that captures the spirit and mayhem of Halloween. It's a quick read, and one of the best police procedurals out there. Tricks is part of the highly successful 87th precinct series, 55 books in total. Tricks was first published in 1987. As this book is set entirely on Halloween night, this seemed like a perfect fit. Pretty much the entire cast of the 87th appears in this ultra busy entry in I first read Tricks in High School, and have since read it over a dozen times. It's a little gem of a book, that captures the spirit and mayhem of Halloween. It's a quick read, and one of the best police procedurals out there. Tricks is part of the highly successful 87th precinct series, 55 books in total. Tricks was first published in 1987. As this book is set entirely on Halloween night, this seemed like a perfect fit. Pretty much the entire cast of the 87th appears in this ultra busy entry in Ed McBain’s series. We have four major cases: Eileen and Annie track a killer of prostitutes; Cotton looks for a missing magician; Brown tries to find out who is leaving the chopped up parts of a body all over the city; and Meyer and Carella take on and a group of kids who are going round trick or treating in stores and killing the staff before emptying the cash registers!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ram

    This novel can be described in a single word – crisp. Not a line that shouldn’t be there, not a word out of place. Tricks is set over a single night – Halloween Night – as different crimes get the attention of the men & women of the 87th squad. A magician has mysteriously disappeared after his last vanishing act, parts of a human body are being discovered in various parts of the precinct, a trap has been set for a serial killer with a sense of humour who’s targeting prostitutes in a pattern a This novel can be described in a single word – crisp. Not a line that shouldn’t be there, not a word out of place. Tricks is set over a single night – Halloween Night – as different crimes get the attention of the men & women of the 87th squad. A magician has mysteriously disappeared after his last vanishing act, parts of a human body are being discovered in various parts of the precinct, a trap has been set for a serial killer with a sense of humour who’s targeting prostitutes in a pattern and a gang of children seem to be on a murder & looting spree at liquor stores. Its going to be a busy night for the squad. Tricks is a fast-paced well-crafted thriller that will retain your attention till the last page. http://theprintedword.wordpress.com/2...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Martz

    This one is a lot of fun. It juggles a half dozen story lines and keeps you in suspense with each one. This time the 87 is after a missing magician, a gang of murderous midgets, and a prostitute killer with the entire novel taking place on Halloween night. Of the cops, McBain focuses on Andy Parker, who is usually obnoxious, and Eileen Burke, the undercover operative who poses as a prostitute to lure out the killer. Because there are so many plots to juggle, the book never slows down for a secon This one is a lot of fun. It juggles a half dozen story lines and keeps you in suspense with each one. This time the 87 is after a missing magician, a gang of murderous midgets, and a prostitute killer with the entire novel taking place on Halloween night. Of the cops, McBain focuses on Andy Parker, who is usually obnoxious, and Eileen Burke, the undercover operative who poses as a prostitute to lure out the killer. Because there are so many plots to juggle, the book never slows down for a second, and the series of climaxes are particularly powerful coming one after another in rapid succession.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joe Noir

    Another fantastic entry in the premier police procedural series. The streets are full of children in costume. Some are holding up liquor stores. A professional magician disappears immediately after a performance. Eileen Burke is bait for a killer of prostitutes. Body parts are being found around the city. Two detectives are shot. One detective is firebombed. Andy Parker has hooked up with a female friend, and they are attending parties. It’s Halloween in the 87th precinct. Great fun and full of su Another fantastic entry in the premier police procedural series. The streets are full of children in costume. Some are holding up liquor stores. A professional magician disappears immediately after a performance. Eileen Burke is bait for a killer of prostitutes. Body parts are being found around the city. Two detectives are shot. One detective is firebombed. Andy Parker has hooked up with a female friend, and they are attending parties. It’s Halloween in the 87th precinct. Great fun and full of surprises.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura (ME)

    an 87th precinct novel - not bad - very quick read

  19. 4 out of 5

    David H.

    Here is another book from one of my Father's bookcases. I always search Dad's bookcases for authors that I have not read. Ed McBain wrote many novels during his almost fifty year career. Most of those books belonged to THE 87TH Precinct Novels. (thanks goodreads members for this information). I enjoyed reading this book. The story is dialogue driven with several diverse, interesting characters. The pacing is excellent and the writing style is concise. So much fiction seems padded, like someone is Here is another book from one of my Father's bookcases. I always search Dad's bookcases for authors that I have not read. Ed McBain wrote many novels during his almost fifty year career. Most of those books belonged to THE 87TH Precinct Novels. (thanks goodreads members for this information). I enjoyed reading this book. The story is dialogue driven with several diverse, interesting characters. The pacing is excellent and the writing style is concise. So much fiction seems padded, like someone is struggling to reach a word count or page number; but not this novel. The only downside was the predictability, but that didn't hamper my enjoyment. Keep in mind that this novel was published in 1987, decades before smart phones and the internet. These characters utilized street corner telephone booths and hailed taxi cabs. Police work was done the old fashioned way.

  20. 5 out of 5

    MRS SHEILA E PARSONS

    Fantastic Impossible to put down. Several stories running through the book.all tense. The book is stand alone or for complete enjoyment read as a saga. I am off to download the next one.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Humbert

    True to the formula - not one of the best efforts but ok

  22. 4 out of 5

    John Marsh

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Read Kindle Unlimited Story of a hellish Halloween in the famous 87th Precinct. Afternoon /evening started with double staff but no phone calls then all hell breads loose. Detectives Hawes and Brown get reports of a dismembered corpse that sexy Marie Sebastiani identifies as her husband, magician Sebastian the Great. But the pair had murdered their help who lived in flat at their place. Intended to take the insurance and vanish. Head and hands get dredged up. And Brown and Hawes visit Marie's home Read Kindle Unlimited Story of a hellish Halloween in the famous 87th Precinct. Afternoon /evening started with double staff but no phone calls then all hell breads loose. Detectives Hawes and Brown get reports of a dismembered corpse that sexy Marie Sebastiani identifies as her husband, magician Sebastian the Great. But the pair had murdered their help who lived in flat at their place. Intended to take the insurance and vanish. Head and hands get dredged up. And Brown and Hawes visit Marie's home after midnight for further enquiries. One phone call from siser-in-law then her arrival appeared to have conflicting knowledge so it dawns on the detectives that the supposedly dead husband had called and Marie had warned of cops in the house. Meanwhile, detectives Carella and Meyer go after a gang of children whose tricks are killing and robbing liquor-store owners.The children and driver are all off season circus workers. The children are in reality midgets and Alice is a cold blooded and accurate killer with a gun. Both Carella and Meyer get shot and survive. Carella thought this time his number was up for sure but is ok. Andy Parker winning credit for a spectacular coup. He had followed up with a former contact from an old investigation a 60 year old lady called Peaches. Goes out partying together. Parker pretends to be all sorts including what he is a cop then a writer and generally has fun. Meets the midget Alice at one party place and gets the hots for her (Much to Peaches's annoyance) takes address phone no etc. Later sees newspaper which has headline of holdups and murders plus two cops shot. Parker goes and makes the arrest of the murderest gang. Eileen Burke, in another part of the jungle, poses as a hooker to decoy the city's serial killer, and loses her backup team. She ends up telling the killer she is a cop and holds a gun on him. At whcih point he has not attacked her so had not incriminated himself but proceeds to do the very act in taking out his knife and moving towards her. she has no choice but to shoot him but as she has previously been marked and raped looses and empties all her gun bullets into him. Then tells Kling she is resigning. Genero facing sudden death threat and coming away a hero. Four dangerous out of control teenagers, with murderist intend, fire bombs attack him. In self defence for his life shoots all four. Then later has to tread carefully in press and police reports as, of course, under the spot light for police heavy handedness. What a night it has been. Serveral murders. Near murders and so forth.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Megargee

    A good solid 87th Precinct novel, this is the 40th of the 50 or so books in the series. Most of the players in the continuing ensemble cast are here, albeit some in cameo roles. That said, you don't need to be a long time 87th Precinct reader to appreciate the characters and their roles. Thanks to McBain's dialogue, if you didn't know Andy Parker was a jerk you would as soon as he opened his mouth. While there are continuing overall story arcs, each novel can be enjoyed on its own. This one has A good solid 87th Precinct novel, this is the 40th of the 50 or so books in the series. Most of the players in the continuing ensemble cast are here, albeit some in cameo roles. That said, you don't need to be a long time 87th Precinct reader to appreciate the characters and their roles. Thanks to McBain's dialogue, if you didn't know Andy Parker was a jerk you would as soon as he opened his mouth. While there are continuing overall story arcs, each novel can be enjoyed on its own. This one has more action and shots fired than most.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christian

    This was definitely one of my favorites of the more modern era 87th Precinct novels. My only complaint is that Carella and Meyer Meyer were taken out of the action too early for them to have any effect on the plot. Still, the various "tricks" that happen throughout this novel are fun and exciting to read. That said, I'm more of a Fat Ollie Weeks fan than an Andy Parker fan when it comes to fat, racist, ornery cops in McBain's world, but I thought this installment used Andy Parker really well. Al This was definitely one of my favorites of the more modern era 87th Precinct novels. My only complaint is that Carella and Meyer Meyer were taken out of the action too early for them to have any effect on the plot. Still, the various "tricks" that happen throughout this novel are fun and exciting to read. That said, I'm more of a Fat Ollie Weeks fan than an Andy Parker fan when it comes to fat, racist, ornery cops in McBain's world, but I thought this installment used Andy Parker really well. All in all, a fast-paced, darkly funny read from one of the best.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Lots of murder and mayhem on Halloween night in this 40th book in Ed McBain's "87th precinct" series - magicians, midgets, costume parties, liquor store killing sprees, and a trap set for a killer of prostitutes. The book went at a good clip, alternating between the various stories/open cases. Lots of action for the detectives we've come to know and love - included several shootings. Very good book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Hall

    It's 40 years since I read EdMcBain - I read many of his novels as a teenager. Perhaps it's the passing of the years, or my personal growth, but Tricks left me feeling uninvolved. I found the plot to be too far-fetched to even border on plausibility. I recall a bond between the detectives in early novels but this appears to have dissipated these days. At the end of the day, it's pure pulp fiction, fine for reading on a beach but that's about it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maame

    M/M books have got me so hooked on the genre that l have forgotten some of my old and first love. McBain was a master at his craft. Enjoyed this very much and the fact that there are so many books in the series makes it even better. Read some when l was in high school and still have some l never read and the audiobook versions make the books more enjoyable. I know l am going to enjoy re-visiting this series very much.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Red Heaven

    Halloween is when the ghouls come out and there are plenty of ghoulish criminals in this book. McBain also goes out of his way to use as many meanings of the word "tricks" as possible. It's all good stuff.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    Tricks is an 87th Precinct novel that has the squad investigating various events from a disappearing magician to a headless torso. This book focuses on other members of the squad than Steve Carella and his an interesting police procedural.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I was blown away by the dismemberment case. I didn't see that one coming. I also would have never thought the kids were actual midgets either. I laughed so hard when that piece of information was revealed.

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