• Publication date: 22 Jun 2017
• Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: My own copy
‘Intensely human in its tragic details, positively Shakespearian in its epic sweep – probably the best cop novel ever written’ Lee Child
‘Mesmerizing, a triumph. Think The Godfather, only with cops. It’s that good’ Stephen King
My Thoughts & Review
To suggest that this is a powerful novel that will become a classic is a massive understatement. It is a classic novel and it’s such a powerful read that the words burn off the page. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. It is superb. It really is.
If only there were a ten star rating. This book deserves them all.
This is a work of fiction and I appreciated it as such.
The protagonist is Detective First Grade Dennis John Malone. Known to his friends as ‘Denny’. A veteran sergeant in the NYPD’s most elite unit. Son of a cop. Of Irish descent and is known as ‘The King of The Task Force’ or ‘Da Force’ as the Manhattan North Special Task Force is known colloquially.
Malone considers himself to be a good cop. It’s all he ever wanted to be. He loves The Job and the people he has sworn to protect and serve. A cop who is loyal to the fellow members of his team. His brother cops. Closer than family. Loyal to each other. They have each other’s backs. Would die for each other. They’re known as the ‘Hero cops’, that’s the title applied to them each time in the media if they have a successful drug busts or weapons hauls.
It’s post 9/11 and Denny Malone lost his young firefighter brother Liam in the terrorist attack that destroyed the lives of so many and changed New York, America and the rest of the world forever.
Denny Malone is a kind Robin Hood of the Hero Cops in a den of very nasty thieves. He hands out turkeys at Christmas time in the poorer areas known as The Projects. People fear and respect him. His area is the Kingdom Of Malone.
The Hero Cops have standards. They want to take the guns of their streets. Guns kill too many good citizens. Guns kill cops. They hate them. They hate drugs too and spend far too much time on duty dealing with the effects of drugs in one way or another.
The Job and the brotherhood of fellow cops is their life and as members of Da Force are treated like royalty. They eat in the best establishments and are on nodding terms with wise guy members of The Mob. Recognised admired and respected wherever they go. They are the untouchables. Or are they?
Denny Malone is a dirty cop and so are his fellow officers, the other ‘brothers’ in the team. They’re not the only ones though. Corruption is rampant throughout the justice system, lawyers, judges, city officials. Everyone has a price and can be bought it seems.
The intentions of Malone and his fellow Task Force team members are honourable. Of course they are. They think it’s all justified. They need money to put by for their kid’s college fees. Insurance that if one of them is killed on the job, their wives and families will be taken care of by the others in their elite corps. There is no going back once they start.
They’ve seen too much. Been through too much. They’re damaged by the job.
The story starts off with Malone in an FBI correctional centre and this book is about his journey to that fate and if indeed it is the end of his career. It’s not an easy story. It’s often sad and heartbreaking.
I could hardly read the last part because of the tears in my eyes.
There is good and there is evil. There are different levels of good and evil. Who is good and who is evil?
Now that’s all you’ll get from me. I can’t reveal any more of this story without giving away spoilers. You can’t make me tell. I’ll plead the fifth. I don’t know anything about anything.
Read the book to find out the whole story. You’ll be very glad that you did.
About The Author
Don Winslow (b. 1953) is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen crime and mystery novels as well as short stories and film screenplays. A Cool Breeze on the Underground, Winslow’s debut and the first novel in his popular Neal Carey series, was nominated for an Edgar Award. Before becoming a fulltime writer, Winslow worked as a private detective in New York and California.