Book #25: Jigsaw

Ed McBain is always a fast read, but I didn't think when I opened Jigsaw this morning around 6:30 AM that I'd have it finished by 10:30 AM. I think the steady diet of comic books I've been living on for most of the month finally crashed - I'm already 100 pages into my next books and feel like there's no end in sight.

Jigsaw is yet another entry in the fantastic 87th Precinct novels that focuses on a squad of detectives and their various lives, both on the case and off. A burglary that ends in a double homicide looks clean-cut until Detectives Carella and Brown find a fragment of a photograph clutched in one of the dead men's hands. Shaped like a jigsaw puzzle, it's one of eight fragments that give the location of $750,000 stolen from a Savings & Loan six years earlier. The situation becomes more complicated when it turns out the detectives aren't the only ones looking for the other puzzle pieces, and unfortunately that other person is killing anyone and everyone who gets in their way.

I won't lie and say that this is anything new - even within the series it's lies somewhere in the middle. But I've yet to read a McBain book that didn't have a way with language, both in the dialog and in the description. One noticeable difference in Jigsaw is the language is beginning to get a little rougher - this was written in 1970 and the profanity and sexual coarseness seems to have been ratcheted up a bit. Fine book overall, if not one of the best in the series, and a breath of fresh air after what feels like dozens of capes and cowls.