EIGHTY MILLION EYES (1966) by Ed McBain, is the twenty-first entry in his long running 87th Precinct series. It's the second 87th Precinct novel I've read this year, following AX (1964) back in the late spring. This series is set in a nameless big city and follows the detectives of the 87th Precinct as they solve murders and other crimes the old fashioned way: through painstaking time and effort, involving collecting physical evidence and interviewing suspects. There's nothing glamorous about what they do but through professionalism, dedication and skills honed by years on the job, they always solve their cases.
EIGHTY MILLION EYES is actually two cases in one book. In the main narrative, TV comic Stan Gifford dies on camera during a live broadcast of his weekly variety show. Forty million people (eighty million eyes) see him die of apparent poisoning right before their astonished eyes. Detectives Steve Carella and Meyer Meyer investigate. The second case concerns a cold-blooded stalker who has set his sights on a young woman. He brutally assaults a police officer first and follows that with an attack on the woman. Both the cop and the victim end up in the hospital where Detective Bert Kling sets a trap for the creep. The two stories do not intersect but they're both compelling and well told.
If you like your mystery novels to feature realistic police procedures, smart dialogue and clever solutions, I recommend this series. If you're a hard core mystery fan you've probably already read them. I'm coming to them late but I've enjoyed what I've read so far and look forward to reading more books by McBain. Thumbs up.