See Them Die ? An 87th Precinct mystery
Originally published 1963
See Them Die is the thirteenth 87th Precinct mystery novel by Ed McBain. This one really is for fans only. There is a certain tension in this particular mystery that will remind some readers of thirties or forties gangster movies but there is not much else here.
This Ed McBain mystery takes place one hot morning and afternoon in July. McBain obviously intends See Me Die to be a day in the life of New York City and the 87th Precinct on a day where the heat is so oppressive it gets to everybody.
See Them Die opens with a young wannabe gang member at a local diner owned by a Puerto Rican man. He is soon joined by a sailor on leave looking for some action. Zip, the young tough, has started his own street with all but four members. When his friends join him, they are going to kill a young man just to prove they are a serious gang. Meanwhile, a gangster who has so far eluded police is hiding out in the neighborhood. When the detectives of the 87th precinct find out where he is there is a major shootout.
Other stuff happens.
See Them Die fails because McBain fails to really make the characters more than movie types while the story itself is weak and, in the end, kind of pointless.
McBain is usually reliable but not this time.