It should have been the night that launched a new pop idol. Tamar Valparaiso is young and beautiful, with the body and voice of an angel. The stage is set for her to launch her debut album, Bandersnatch, on a luxury yacht in the heart of the city. But halfway through her performance, masked men drag Tamar off the stage and into a waiting speedboat, while the partygoers look on helplessly. Detective Steve Carella is just showing up for the graveyard shift when news of the kidnapping comes in. Working disjointedly with a Joint Task Force that calls itself "The Squad," Carella and the men and women of the Eight-Seven must find Tamar before time -- or indeed her very life -- runs out. In this brilliant look at the music industry, Ed McBain once again combines his mastery of form with the fast-paced dialogue and intricate plotting that have become his signature.
Ed McBain, a recipient of the Mystery Writers of America's coveted Grand Master Award, was also the first American to receive the Diamond Dagger, the British Crime Writers Association's highest award. His books have sold more than one hundred million copies, ranging from the more than fifty titles in the 87th Precinct series (including the Edgar Award–nominated Money, Money, Money) to the bestselling novels written under his own name, Evan Hunter—including The Blackboard Jungle (now in a fiftieth anniversary edition from Pocket Books) and Criminal Conversation. Fiddlers, his final 87th Precinct novel, was recently published in hardcover. Writing as both Ed McBain and Evan Hunter, he broke new ground with Candyland, a novel in two parts. He also wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. He died in 2005.