23 SEPTEMBER 1960, Page 38

Killer's Payoff. By Ed McBain. (Board ri !':1 12s. 6d.) A prolific

and usually pretty Platsi,bis American crime-writer back on form with dit carefully matter-of-fact account of hoe' Set policemen at his 87th Precinct cop-house :ler about the problem of who blew a blacklny to bits. The denouement depends on too 1113,,,it people behaving wildly out of character, v'd everything up till then 'is soberly convincing and everything