Picks and Pans Review: Calypso

updated 07/09/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/09/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Ed McBain

The cops at McBain's fictional 87th Precinct obviously aren't intimidated by the current "I Love New York" promotion campaign—the city has never come off uglier. This 12th novel in the series begins with a couple of sudden murders: a black calypso singer and a prostitute. McBain's cops are as tough as the neighborhoods they investigate. But his great virtue is his ability to create an atmosphere so stingingly real that getting into one of his novels is like sinking into some fascinating cesspool. It's sometimes disgusting but always irresistible. (Viking, $8.95)

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