Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Book Review: Give the Boys a Great Big Hand by Ed McBain

Patrolman Richard Genero, the beat cop who made the initial body discovery way back in The Pusher, strikes gold again when he finds a discarded flight bag containing a severed hand. With nothing to go on but a printless hand and a vague description of the person who left it, the bulls at the 87th need to pull clues and suspects from thin air to discover not only who the killer is, but who the victim was.

Nothing too far from the norm here, the boys do their fair share of legwork to track down paper thin leads, the main guys on the case being Carella, Hawes. and Meyer. Parker also appears long enough to start a fist fight with Carella, already putting him above Haviland as far as chaos potential. The fight starts when Carella sticks up for Frankie Hernandez, who spends his second appearance in the city defending The Cause from Parker's relentless bigoted comments.

Nothing too spectacular takes place in this episode, although it is the second book in a row that sees Carella losing his temper, from shouting at the reluctant Douglas King in King's Ransom to taking a swing at Parker here. While he has never been portrayed as the calm one of the precinct (that would be Meyer), he has never been this hot headed.

Reviewed by S. Michael Wilson

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