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He Who Hesitates

He Who Hesitates

Written by Ed McBain

Narrated by Dick Hill


He Who Hesitates

Written by Ed McBain

Narrated by Dick Hill

ratings:
3/5 (60 ratings)
Length:
5 hours
Released:
Jun 26, 2012
ISBN:
9781455873739
Format:
Audiobook

Description

A craftsman visiting the city struggles to contact the 87th Precinct with details of a former lover's sudden death when there's another beauty distracting him.

"The 87th Precinct [is] one of the great literary accomplishments of the last half-century." -Pete Hamill, Newsday

"McBain has the ability to make every character believable-which few writers these days can do." -Associated Press

Released:
Jun 26, 2012
ISBN:
9781455873739
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Ed McBain has been the recipient of the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. His 87th Precinct novels are international bestsellers. He lives in Connecticut.


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Reviews

What people think about He Who Hesitates

3.1
60 ratings / 6 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    Another 87th Precinct book that can only exist in the context of the series because all the recurring characters only show up on the periphery and the entire story is told from the sympathetic POV of someone who may or may not be reliable to the extent that they may have committed a terrible crime. The more I read McBain, the more I discover that there is no one else like him.
  • (5/5)
    He Who Hesitates is an interesting departure from the police procedural stories that normally come out of the 87th, something that McBain is fond of doing on occasion. When you're almost twenty novels into a series, it makes sense o shake things up every now and then. In this case, the entire story is told from the point of view Roger Broome, who is visiting The City during the winter (February, a month later than the previous novel, Ax) in order to sell "woodcrafts" made at his country home (which just happens to be nearby the ski resort Cotton Hawes visits in The Empty Hours). Roger is the "He" who hesitates, as he struggles with whether he should go home, or report something to the police. Some of the bulls from the 87th make brief appearances, primarily Carella, Hawes, Willis, and Parker, but the majority of the story involves the people of the city, both the innocent citizens and the criminal element, all experienced through the senses of a simple country boy harboring a guilty secret. If you're only into the 87th series for the boys in the precinct, then you might want to skip this one, but even without them, this is a solid entry that still possesses McBain's charm and talents.
  • (5/5)
    One of the things that set Ed McBain apart from your average writer of police procedurals is his almost poetic descriptions of people, places, and things in the fictional world of the 87th Precinct, which I've quoted in previous reviews of the series. Another is his unusual approach to what are usually standard tropes of the genre. Rather than have a single cop as his protagonist in every book, he rotates the focus amongst the whole squad of detectives. Sometimes it's Steve Carella, sometimes Bert Kling or Cotton Hawes or Meyer Meyer, or some combination. It keeps the storytelling fresh by giving us different perspectives with each story.And this book, He Who Hesitates, is another example of McBain's unorthodox approach. We spend no time with the detectives in this novel; our only glimpses of them are from the viewpoint of the main character who has a smattering of interactions with them. Rather, the story is slowly exposed from inside the mind of Roger Broome, a young man from upstate New York who has come to the city to sell some of his family's woodworking. When we meet Roger, he's loitering outside the 87th Precinct, trying to work up his courage to go in and report ... something. As the chapters unfold, we get the full story in flashbacks, with periodic returns to the present as Roger continues his will-he-won't-he dance with the police.It's a fascinating approach to an old story and one that kept my attention clear through to the end, just to see what would happen. It's a very short book, even by the standards of the time and series, but the aftereffects may linger with the reader far beyond the turning of the last page.
  • (3/5)

    This isn't so much a novel as a short story stretched out to be a fairly short novel. A man from the NY State sticks, Roger, who's staying in The City for a few days to sell his family's handicrafts to Village stores murders the girl he picks up for a one-night stand, and the next day determines to turn himself in to the 87th Precinct . . . but never quite does. In the mean time he manages for the first time in his life to hook up with a beautiful woman, Amelia, only she's -- gasp! shock! horror! -- black, so he knows his bigoted old bat of a mom back in the cultural desert of small-town upstate New York would never accept her. Although this is classified as an 87th Precinct novel, the guys and gals are peripheral; the suspense derives for our fears that Roger, who's already offed one woman, might decide in his nutty way to do the same to Amelia, who's one of the most appealing characters in the McBain canon -- worth the cover price for her alone. All in all, a slight but very enjoyable book.
  • (5/5)
    This is so different from the first eighteen books in the series, and I loved it! It's told from the point-of-view of Roger Broome, a man in town to sell some wood pieces. Roger meets a woman named Molly, and well, that's what the story is about. The 87th Precinct, and its detectives, are purely background to the story.Should Roger go to the police, or go home to his mother? The ending is exactly what I wanted. McBain nails it!
  • (3/5)
    I don't think this is one of Ed McBain's better books. Though I must admit that the last third of it had finally captured me. That's because the lead character, Roger Broome, reminded me of Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me.