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The First Deadly Sin (1972)

de Lawrence Sanders

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658626,041 (3.71)13
The #1 New York Times-bestselling author introduces readers to "a great detective, a detective's detective," New York cop Edward X. Delaney (Kirkus Reviews). New York Police Department Captain Edward Delaney is called to the scene of a brutal murder. A Brooklyn councilman was struck from behind, the back of his skull punctured and crushed with an unknown weapon. The victim wasn't robbed, and there's no known motive. The commissioner appoints Delaney to head up a clandestine task force, but soon this effort ignites an internecine war of departmental backstabbing.     Distracted by the serious illness of his wife, Barbara, Delaney begins his secret investigation. Then the killer claims another victim--slain in the exact same way, leaving the strange puncture wound. As more young men are found murdered, Delaney starts putting the pieces together. Soon, he's faced with a cop's dilemma: He knows who the killer is, but the man is untouchable. That's when Delaney lays a trap to bring a monster to justice . . .… (més)
Afegit fa poc perGaveboeken, mtbass, khynes, MGphoto68, biblioteca privada, seoncone2681, ghilliegal47
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The First Deadly Sin…has…a…long…slow…start… Sanders certainly fills it with exposition needed later and Daniel Blank is definitely a creepy enough serial killer. The novel begins to pick up with Captain Delaney’s shadow investigation into the case, using unofficial amateur sources. Since this is a Columbo-type tale where we know the evil-doer from the beginning, the narrative definitely works well having the perspective shift back and forth between Delaney and Blank. ( )
  mtbass | Feb 12, 2021 |
I first read this decades ago, but it mostly holds up. Yes, it's a little dated but it rings true for the time in which it was written. Not a whodunit at all, Sanders is more interested in probing the psychology of both killer and cop. Edward X Delaney is not a cardboard cutout but a multi-faceted individual who isn't particularly likable. But he is very compelling. Daniel and his group are the stuff nightmares are made of. The sexual component of the story can be disturbing, but it was easy enough to skim through that. The book is long but well-written and worth it once one gets past the first section and Delaney is introduced. The characterizations and motivations are what made this book a best seller back in the day. ( )
  AliceAnna | Aug 22, 2020 |
I first read this back in about 1975 and was completely gripped by the writing and the suspenseful story.

The book introduces New York City cop Edward X Delaney, who is on the trail of a serial killer, while also trying to care for his wife, who is dying of some unnamed illness.

Daniel Blank is a successful executive at a publishing firm, with a high-rise apartment on New York City’s east side. But he’s a damaged person, and quickly becomes dangerous once he’s influenced by the strange, aloof woman he meets at a friend’s brunch. Once he gets away with the first killing, he becomes unable to stop, addicted to the thrill of the hunt.

Delaney is a cop’s cop. Methodical, tenacious, and with a second sense about the perpetrator he’s after. Embroiled by a political tug-of-war within the city’s police department, he takes a “leave of absence” to care for his critically ill wife, while actually conducting a private investigation. But he has allies and amateur assistants/experts to help him.

I love how Sanders writes these two major characters, filling in the details of their lives – from Blank’s methodical grooming routines, to Delaney’s eating habits. He also includes a varied cast of supporting characters from a quiet housewife to an alcoholic paraplegic. Sanders moves the action back and forth between the killer's perspective and that of Police Chief Delaney, so the reader knows more than the detective, but that doesn't lessen the suspense.

I did think that the subplot about Delaney’s wife was somewhat unnecessary and a distraction from the main plot. It helped to define the Chief, but Sanders might have found another way to doing that without using so many pages.

(Review updated on second reading, Feb 2018) ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 22, 2018 |
Well written. ( )
  briellenadyne | Oct 29, 2016 |
Dick Hill
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
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The #1 New York Times-bestselling author introduces readers to "a great detective, a detective's detective," New York cop Edward X. Delaney (Kirkus Reviews). New York Police Department Captain Edward Delaney is called to the scene of a brutal murder. A Brooklyn councilman was struck from behind, the back of his skull punctured and crushed with an unknown weapon. The victim wasn't robbed, and there's no known motive. The commissioner appoints Delaney to head up a clandestine task force, but soon this effort ignites an internecine war of departmental backstabbing.     Distracted by the serious illness of his wife, Barbara, Delaney begins his secret investigation. Then the killer claims another victim--slain in the exact same way, leaving the strange puncture wound. As more young men are found murdered, Delaney starts putting the pieces together. Soon, he's faced with a cop's dilemma: He knows who the killer is, but the man is untouchable. That's when Delaney lays a trap to bring a monster to justice . . .

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