Death of a Nurse by Ed McBain
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  • Lt Masters, however, was not convinced and continued the investigation himself

    • by Jacinth K Lee
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      This is one of Ed McBain’s earlier work, first known as Murder in the Navy, under his pseudonym Richard Marsten.

      A nurse, Claire Cole, was murdered in the radar shack on board the USS. Sykes. The Captain appointed an investigation board, with Lieutenant Chuck Masters, to look into the murder. The FBI sent their agents; arrogant and unfriendly men who were not too pleased about amateur help. Finally, they narrowed the list of suspects to three men, who have recently gone to the hospital, and had a chance to know the dead nurse, namely Perry Daniels, Alfred Jones and Richard Schaefer.

      Schaefer remembered having seen the killer with Claire in the hospital.


      He confronted the killer one night at the deck, who panicked and threw him overboard. The FBI deduced that Schaefer had committed suicide, having been driven by guilt and fear of exposure. Lt Masters, however, was not convinced and continued the investigation himself. He met Jean Dvovak, the room-mate of Claire, and was attracted to her. Jean told Masters that Claire had gone with a navy man to Wilmington on a weekend, as she had seen a train ticket on Claire’s table.

      Meanwhile, the killer had checked himself into the hospital, trying to meet other nurses. He was intensely attracted to Jean, who was attending to him.


      • They made a date, and he aroused her suspicions, as he mentioned that he had dated a nurse before. Jean wrote to Masters about her suspicions, and her date with the killer. Masters rushed to Wilmington, started a frantic search of the hotels and rooming houses; and just when Jean was going to be killed, he broke into the room and caught the killer Alfred Jones.

        This book was an old-fashioned story, during the times when things were down-to-earth and less sophisticated. Meeting people and falling in love was so uncomplicated, and people were more trusting of others.

        This story still has its appeal, the suspense that McBain

        was excellent at, is apparent even in this early work. McBain kept the identity of the killer secret until the last few pages; I was puzzling over which of the two suspects was the killer, and he led me to the wrong conclusion, with a lot of false clues, and assumptions. The ending is a bit disappointing though. It is inconceivable how Masters could just search for a hotel in a place he had never been before; and so opportunely that he was able to rescue Jean Dvovak just in time. Despite this, McBain still provided suspense and excitement perfect recipe for a good mystery thriller!




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in October, 2008. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 172010496040231/k2311a1020/10.20.08
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