Here comes another book recommendation. “The Force,” by Don Winslow. Let me say right off the bat that this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s right up there with “Lonesome Dove,” “The Caine Mutiny,” “Presumed Innocent,” and “The Godfather.”
Denny Malone is a New York City cop. But he is not New York’s finest. He is corrupt and North Manhattan is his kingdom. He is not the stereotypical cop of crime fiction. He sports sleeve tattoos, loves gangsta rap, has an estranged wife and a black mistress on the side and he has a bad habit of popping Dexedrine before he goes on duty.
Malone busts his share of perps, but he also steals drugs, cash and guns from other criminals to further his own interests, along with those of his partners on an elite task force designed to combat street crime. In the book’s opening scene, Malone executes a notorious drug dealer for reasons that will eventually become clear.
Does he get away with it? Faugh! Read the book. Let’s just say that Denny will soon find that his agenda comes into conflict with those of the mafia, a ghetto drug lord, a Dominican hitman, the FBI, city politicians and, most important of all, his fellow cops.
This book is not merely a pot-boiler crime thriller. The characters are fully realized human beings, all driven by human frailties. Current events such as police shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement serve as an authentic backdrop to the plot and motivations of the characters. But most of all, this book is an honest, unvarnished look into the culture of the police force, for both good and bad. Though politics does play a role in the novel, I don’t detect an overt pro or anti-cop bias on the part of the author.
Yes, my blind friends, the book is available on audible, which means you can go ahead and pirate it like I know you’re gonna do. It is not on BARD and probably won’t be for a while, since the book was published only two weeks ago. Apparently, it is also available on Bookshare.