by Ed McBain
Ed McBain is the man to thank for the police-procedural genre centring on big-city cop shops. His 70-plus books have also spawned several television series, including Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue and CSI: Miami. The prolific output means that few readers will arrive at Like Love feeling as though they've been booked for the first time. Snappily paced, the novel begins with a young woman on the verge of jumping to her death. Then there's the salesman who's blown apart on the job. And the adulterous couple who are found dead on a bed in what initially appears to be an open-and-shut case: there are no signs of a struggle, alcohol has been consumed, and a suicide note is found. However, something stinks, and it's up to Steve Carella and Cotton Hawes to figure out what it is. Although some readers may have it sussed before the detectives do, the ending should still be a surprise. First published in 1962, 43 years before McBain's death this month, Like Love is considered a classic from his 87th Precinct series. It's easy to see why.