Carella and Kling take the lead on this one. A married couple are found in their apartment, heads and faces half removed by the shotgun of the title with no eye-witnesses to the crime. Kling doesn't really have the stomach for it and nor does the milkman who called it in.
There's nothing particularly spectacular about the plot, even when the attention is diverted by the murder of a nice lady in the neighbourhood and the resolution of an old storyline.
We get some insight into Kling's relationship with Cindy which makes her all the more alluring, though Kling doesn't seem to be on the same page because he gets distracted for a while by a beautiful young woman who is a tenuous witness.
As usual, there are the usual vignettes to appreciate as new characters are interviewed or investigated. McBain does this so wonderfully well, entire paintings created with a few simple brushstrokes. They flow together like streams feeding a river and keep the story ticking along at exactly the right pace.
I'm not sure it's entirely relevant, but for the last few books in the series I've had a sense of how things would play out before the ending. Whether this is because I'm more tuned in or Mr McBain has skilfully laid out just the right amount of breadcrumbs in the trail to allow me to get there, I have no idea.
Another terrific distraction from the more mundane things of life. Just what I wanted.