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By Ed McBain
Eighty-six-year-old George Lasser was once the superintendent of a development within the 87th Precinct until eventually only recently. regrettably his tenure led to the building’s basement with a pointy, heavy blade of an ax in his head…
There are not any witnesses, no suspects, and no clues. The spouse and son? They’re either a bit off-kilter, yet they've got alibis. simply while Carella and Hawes are approximately to place the case at the shelf, the killer moves back. Now the detectives are sizzling at the path of a guy loopy sufficient to homicide with an ax.
One of the 87th Precinct sequence’ best installments, Ax is a pointy, excessive crime mystery that's vintage Ed McBain. The ny instances hails it as “the better of today’s police stories—lively, creative, convincing, suspenseful, and utterly satisfactory.”
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He by no means turns out to understand what we’re conversing about,” Carella stated to Hawes conversationally. “What we're conversing approximately, Mr. Reuhr, is that this. we predict you stumbled on a person who wanted blackmailing and, realizing you couldn't visit him in my opinion, made up our minds to ship a consultant on your position. we expect the individual you made the decision to ship was once George Lasser. That’s what we predict. ” “Mmm-huh,” Reuhr stated. “What do you're thinking that, Mr. Reuhr? ” “I imagine that’s very fascinating. ” “Yes, we do, too. ” “But I don’t imagine you could turn out any of it. ” “You’re correct. We can’t,” Carella acknowledged. “That’s what I thought,” Reuhr stated, and smiled. Carella again the smile. “We don’t need to, Mr. Reuhr,” he stated. “You don’t, huh? ” “Nope. ” “How come? ” “We’re no longer attracted to anything as piddling as blackmail. We’re drawn to murder. We’ve been getting loads of warmth in this, Mr. Reuhr. We’d particularly like a great deal to discover a person to hold it on. ” “You may, huh? ” “Yes, certainly. Why don’t we play ball with one another? ” “In what means? ” “Mr. Reuhr, we can’t end up that you just and Lasser have been blackmailing an individual jointly in 1939, that’s real. yet we will turn out blackmail in 1937 simply because Mr. Cavanaugh has already advised us all approximately it, and I’m yes he’d repeat it at the witness stand and could additionally let us know the identify of your sufferer. In different phrases, Mr. Reuhr, we’ve received you for that little caper, if for not anything else. ” “Mmm,” Reuhr acknowledged. “Make feel? ” “What’s your deal? ” “We don’t imagine you killed Lasser,” Hawes stated. “How come? ” “We can’t see any explanation for it. From what we will be able to see, you and Lasser have been associates. He used to be in on a shakedown care for you, allow you to use the basement to your crap video games, why for those who kill him? ” “Mmm,” Reuhr stated. “Still make experience, Mr. Reuhr? ” “I’m listening,” Reuhr acknowledged. “I imagine he is familiar with what we’re conversing approximately now,” Carella stated, and smiled at Hawes. “Go on,” Reuhr acknowledged. “Okay. You and Lasser are shaking anyone down. it sounds as if you’re getting quite a lot of loot from this individual simply because Lasser is ready to find the money for the college and the clinic on his proportion by myself. you begin the shakedown in 1939—” “We all started it in 1938,” Reuhr acknowledged unexpectedly. “Ah,” Carella stated. “Thank you. i feel he want to play ball, Cotton. ” “I imagine so, too,” Hawes stated, and grinned. “You begun the shakedown in 1938,” Carella stated. “George Lasser used to be the fellow who went in your sufferer and informed him what you had on him. George Lasser was once the fellow who demanded check. ” Carella paused. “George Lasser used to be additionally the fellow who bought killed with an ax at the 3rd of this month. Get it, Mr. Reuhr? ” “I imagine so. ” “We need to know what the shakedown was once approximately and who your sufferer was,” Hawes acknowledged. Reuhr shrugged. “What do i am getting out of this? ” he requested. “That’s what, Mr. Reuhr. ” “Huh? ” “You get out of this. You get out of what can be a very nasty scenario. You get out of it fresh and with out additional questions. another way, we nonetheless desire a person to pin a rose on—and it might probably become you. ” “Okay,” Reuhr stated. “See? ” Carella stated to Hawes.