Lightning (87th Precinct)
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The city can be a strange place, full of odd sights. Sometimes chilling sights. But nothing could prepare the detectives of the 87th Precinct for the sight of a murdered young woman, a member of a local college track team, hanging from a lamppost. Nor could they be ready for the news that the same night, another woman is raped for the third time—by the same man. Two cases, two perpetrators, one chilling evening.
Can the detectives of the 87th, with help from Fat Ollie Weeks and Rape Squad Decoy Eileen Burke, put them behind bars for good? The team doesn’t have much time, because it only takes a moment for lightning to strike again.
One of Ed McBain’s grittiest installments of his famed 87th Precinct series, Lightning is a masterpiece of suspense, brooding intensity, and ingenious plotting that elevates crime fiction to its highest possible plane.
thirty-eight dollars a pound.” “Whoo,” Hawes said. “So how come France?” “What? Oh. A side trip. Mixing business with pleasure.” “I’ve never been to France,” Hawes said, somewhat wistfully. “Neither have I,” Annie said. “Popeye got to go to France, though.” “Popeye?” “The French Connection. Did you see that movie? Not the one where he goes to France, that was lousy. The first one.” “Yeah, it was pretty authentic, I thought.” “Yeah, standing around in the cold, and everything. That really
slowly (he’d timed her at three minutes), gradually increasing her speed until she’d done the third lap in two minutes. She was on the fourth lap now, jogging the first fifty yards, running the next fifty, coming all the way around and doing the last fifty at top speed. She rested for several moments, sucking in great gulps of air, and then she began doing arm swings, thirty seconds for each arm, rotating the arm from her shoulder in a full circle, her fist clenched. Trunk bends now—she knew the
her again, in the face this time, and he kept punching her in anger at the difficulty she was causing, her refusal to cooperate in her own demise. A short sharp jab broke her nose. Blood spilled onto his fist and stained the front of her red dress a darker crimson. She was gasping for breath now, her blue eyes wide in fright. He punched her in the mouth, shattering her front teeth, and as she started to fall toward him, he quickly maneuvered his arm up under hers, applied the hold at the back of
calendar, found one already marked with appointments, and then opened her notebook to the first several pages, where there were blank calendars for both this year and next. She carried the notebook to the copying machine in the corner of her office, and then made a dozen copies of this year’s calendar—one for each of the victims, three spares for errors. Back at her desk again, she headed nine of the calendars with different names, and then—referring to the DD reports on each woman—began circling
getting one,” Sagel said. “Not like that one, I mean a good one. A wig nobody can tell you’re wearing, you know what I mean?” “Uh…yes,” Meyer said. “Well, good night,” Kling said. “Thanks for your time, Mr. Sagel.” “Good night,” Meyer mumbled. He was silent all the way down to the street. It was windier outside than it had been when they entered the building. It looked as if it might begin raining anytime now. “I look pretty shitty in this thing, huh?” Meyer asked. Kling didn’t answer for a