"Ed McBain's latest crime novel again features the notorious criminal the Deaf Man and the officers of New York's 87th Precinct. While the characters are filled with personality and Michael Arkin sounds appropriately authoritative, the book's premise--that the Deaf Man has hired junkies to deliver clues based upon quotes from Shakespeare about what he will do next--is hokey, at best. In addition, the novel begins too slowly, particularly for those who are unfamiliar with the Deaf Man and the prior books in the series. Eventually, the story gains momentum, as does Arkin's reading. In particular, Arkin memorably captures the frustrations, self-doubt, and second thoughts of Detective Carella, who ruminates about going broke paying for two weddings, his mother's and his sister's, all at once. D.J.S. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine"