1/6/2004 
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW 
"If cops and kidnappers and girl singers and music industry execs don't talk the way they do in Ed McBain novels, they should." 
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Sunday, December 28, 2003
Marilyn Stasio writes:
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O frabjous day! In his new 87th Precinct police
procedural, THE FRUMIOUS BANDERSNATCH (Simon
& Schuster, $25), Ed McBain takes us through the
looking glass and into the surreal world of the music
business.  Armed with lots of informative dope on the
cutthroat marketing practices of this $12 billion
industry, McBain spins a riotous, if ultimately sobering,
tale about a record release that goes awry.

Barney Loomis, the C.E.O. and sole shareholder of
Bison Records, is giving a lavish press party (on a
yacht, yet!) for Tamar Valparaiso's debut album,
"Bandersnatch," when two masked men crash the party
and kidnap the sexy 20-year-old singer. In short order, a
ransom is demanded, the F.B.I.steps in, the press
jumps all over the story, and the CD shoots to the top of
the charts. But in the end, you know that the hysteria will
be resolved by Steve Carella, "a weary detective sitting
behind a cigarette-scarred desk in a grimy
squad room."

If cops and kidnappers and girl singers and music
industry execs don't talk the way they do in Ed McBain
novels, they should. Like Lewis Carroll, the author
loves to play with language, and he comes up with
plenty of choice words for the ethics-free recording
industry. But, as always, it's the squad car and station
house shoptalk that really sings.
 

 
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