In Cape October during the rainy season, but May is not the rainy season, you can expect a thunder storm along about 3 or 4 every afternoon… The rain when it comes mercilessly assaults the sidewalk and the streets. . . But the heat and the humidity follow as closely behind the storm as does a rapist his victim. Within minutes, you’re sweating again. This is not the rainy season, this is May, but at 3 o clock that afternoon the rain is coming down in buckets.
A fundamental law of Hemingway holds true for Ed McBain: if it is raining at the beginning of the chapter, there’s going to be sex by the end of the chapter. McBain is edgier, angrier, and New York funny, even when describing South Florida.
Did you ever go to bed with Alice?
This is now 3 o’clock in the morning. Around 3 o’clock in the morning they all ask you to start cataloging all the women you’ve ever slept with.
McBain chronicles telephone conversations, everyday speech, questions, commands, exclamations : between widows and out of town businessmen and redneck cops, truck drivers and sisters in law, white trash and nosy neighbors and nosy reporters, the way a real estate agent shows off a house… or a Cape:
Every discourse as smooth as single malt Scotch on fast ice.