The Mysterious Bookshop

McBain, Ed, Killer's Payoff

It’s like an old-time gangster movie: a speeding car, a blazing gun… and suddenly a guy walking down the street without a care in the world is lying in the gutter without a head on his shoulders. But who pulled the high-powered trigger that turned Sy Kramer from a blackmailer into a chalk outline? Was it the politician’s wife with a pornographic past? The soda-pop tycoon desperate to keep a business-busting bungle bottled up? Or was it whoever was paying Kramer a small fortune to hide what must’ve been one very big bad? It falls to detectives Steve Carella and Cotton Hawes of the 87th Precinct to pound the pavement of the city and beat the bushes of the backwoods for the suspect with the best motive, the most blistering weapon, and the biggest set of brass ones. En route, they’ll meet pretty ladies and petty lowlifes, great white hunters and gray flannel ad execs, and, when the going gets rough, maybe even their match. It’s all in several long days’—and even longer nights’—work for the guys who make their living behind the badge, and under the gun.