Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bread by Ed McBain

Rating:4/5
Read between: April 25th to April 28th 2015

Edition Details:
Format: Paperback
Page count: 191
Publisher:Pan Books
Series: 87th Precinct #29


First Sentence:
It was August, and the temperature outside was ninety-six degrees, and the squad room was not air conditioned, and Detective Carella was hot.


Bread is the 29 book in the 87th Precinct series by Ed Mcbain. Ed Mcbain is the author who is credited with starting the police procedural novels. His novels in the 87th precinct series deal with the cases that come to 87th precinct police station and are solved by them. This is the second novel in the series that i have read. The first one was The mugger.

Roger Grimm is a businessman whose warehouse was burned down a few weeks ago. The case was being handled by Detective Parker. When Roger comes to the precinct asking about  detective Parker, he finds out that detective Parker is on a vacation. So, he requests Steve Carella to take over the investigation. According to Roger he needs clean chit from police so he could get the insurance money and subsequently pay for his next consignment.
Steve Carella starts the investigation and then things keep happening that suggest that Roger Grimm has foes that are hellbent on destroying him. Also, the things are not what they seem to be appear.What did Roger Grimm do? Who were these people?What did Steve found out?


It was an entertaining mystery. As the investigation progresses more things start happening that will keep you reading till the end. The plot starts getting convoluted as the story progresses with more arson happening, murders happening but in the ends every thing gets neatly tied down.

Apart from the story there are few other aspects of the book that stood out for me.
The first one that stood out to me was the description of slums and the attitude of people there towards the policemen or figure of authority. I was reading a story about a drug queen of Mumbai who lives in a slum area and the way reporter had described the attitude of people there coincided hundred percent to the attitudes written by author in this book in 1973. It made me think how the societal attitudes transcend the boundaries of time and geography. We all as a society are basically same and given the same stimulus will react similarly most of the time.
The second thing that the book describes beautifully is the dynamics between different police officers. You'll see every kind of police officer both good ones and bad ones. The way they deal among themselves was great to read.

Carella did not like Parker.
Parker did not like Carella.
Carella thought Parker was a lazy cop and a bad cop and the kind of cop who gave other cops a bad name. Parker thought Carella was an eager cop and a Goody Two-shoes cop and a kind of cop who gave other cops a bad name.

All through story we get to see different police officials who due to their experiences or there biases deal with a same situation in different ways. So how they work together as a team, as situation sometimes demands of them, was interesting to read.

If you are interested in the mystery genre and police procedural novels than this book is definitely for you.
You can get the book from the following links:
Amazon

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