Wm Morrow/Harper Collins, $27.99, 479 pages. ISBN 978-0-06-266441-9
According to Dwight, one of my retired cop buddies, only a few crime fiction writers Really get it, when writing about the demands, the stresses and the effect—on marriages, children and personal lives—of being a police officer in America today. It’s a career that is rewarding, exciting, sometimes monotonous, and always dangerous enough to take your breath away. Not many outsiders can even begin to understand what it’s like to bear the weight of a badge and a gun, much less write about it. But, lucky for us, there are a few who do.
The Force, by Don Winslow has been drawing rave reviews from all who’ve read it, including the Mysterious Book Report. If ever a novel was destined to become the defining work of its genre and a never-to-be-forgotten classic, this is it.
All Denny Malone ever wanted to be was a good cop. He’s an NYPD Detective Sergeant, a highly respected, brave and decorated cop who works a drug, gang and murder infested part of the city as the leader of Da Force, an elite unit with unrestricted authority to go after the gang-bangers, drug slingers and gun-runners in Manhattan North, also know as Harlem. They’re handpicked, the best of the best, resourceful, bright, tough and the princes of Manhattan North. They’ve made more busts, received more citations for valor and been in more gunfights than any other unit in the 26,000 officer New York City Police Department. Denny Malone and all the members of Da Force are respected and feared, from One Police Plaza at the south end of Manhattan Island, all the way up to the border of the Bronx in the north. Denny Malone’s been on the job for eighteen years and he’s seen it all . . . the violence, the deaths, the victims, the perpetrators of endless savagery, and the deep-rooted corruption that fuels the city. But the truth is, Denny Malone is dirty. They all are. Money and drugs are missing from the biggest heroin bust in the city’s history, and Malone’s been caught . . . nailed by the Feds. who’re pressing him to confess, turn rat and give up his fellow officers . . . all while still trying to do his job, be a father to his two kids, who live with his estranged wife, and carry on a loving relationship with his heroin-addicted black girlfriend.
Like all of Winslow’s novels, The Force features compelling, electrifying and captivating characters and a dynamic, action-driven plot. It is, as one A-list author wrote: Probably the best cop novel ever written. Read it and see for yourself. Personally, I couldn’t put it down because—as my old friend Dwight said, “He just gets it.”