Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Guest Review: The Force

Summary: The acclaimed, award-winning, bestselling author of The Cartel—voted one of the Best Books of the Year by more than sixty publications, including the New York Times—makes his William Morrow debut with a cinematic epic as explosive, powerful, and unforgettable as Mystic River and The Wire.

Our ends know our beginnings, but the reverse isn’t true . . .
All Denny Malone wants is to be a good cop.
He is “the King of Manhattan North,” a, highly decorated NYPD detective sergeant and the real leader of “Da Force.” Malone and his crew are the smartest, the toughest, the quickest, the bravest, and the baddest, an elite special unit given unrestricted authority to wage war on gangs, drugs and guns. Every day and every night for the eighteen years he’s spent on the Job, Malone has served on the front lines, witnessing the hurt, the dead, the victims, the perps. He’s done whatever it takes to serve and protect in a city built by ambition and corruption, where no one is clean—including Malone himself.

What only a few know is that Denny Malone is dirty: he and his partners have stolen millions of dollars in drugs and cash in the wake of the biggest heroin bust in the city’s history. Now Malone is caught in a trap and being squeezed by the Feds, and he must walk the thin line between betraying his brothers and partners, the Job, his family, and the woman he loves, trying to survive, body and soul, while the city teeters on the brink of a racial conflagration that could destroy them all.

Based on years of research inside the NYPD, this is the great cop novel of our time and a book only Don Winslow could write: a haunting and heartbreaking story of greed and violence, inequality and race, crime and injustice, retribution and redemption that reveals the seemingly insurmountable tensions between the police and the diverse citizens they serve. A searing portrait of a city and a courageous, heroic, and deeply flawed man who stands at the edge of its abyss, The Force is a masterpiece of urban living full of shocking and surprising twists, leavened by flashes of dark humor, a morally complex and utterly riveting dissection of modern American society and the controversial issues confronting and dividing us today. -- William Morrow

I loved THE FORCE by Don Winslow so much (my review) that I insisted Booking Pap Pap read it too. It was one of my favorite books of 2017, and I think my dad enjoyed it quite a bit too! He are his thoughts:

THE FORCE by Don Winslow is a story about Dennis Malone, an 18 year veteran of the NYPD who is considered a “hero cop”. Set in 2017, Malone is the top cop in the elite Manhattan North Special Task Force. Malone is 6’ 2”, covered in tattoos and is an arrogant, smart, violent and corrupt cop. He takes drugs, smokes marijuana, handles cash envelops to city politicians for “favors” and patrols the streets according to his standards of justice. Malone fights crime hard and parties even harder. Malone’s team is tasked with providing security to the citizens of the Manhattan North community but they also steal drugs and money from the criminals. Malone thinks of himself as the good guy and in his way of thinking, only his team cares about the downtrodden.

The book opens with Malone in jail and the reader then learns why he’s there. Malone has always considered graft as “normal business” but he crossed the line when he murdered a drug lord and kept a significant portion of the drug bust worth millions. He gets caught and is being squeezed by the Feds to rat on politicians, members of the judiciary and cops. Malone will cooperate to some extent but will do almost anything to protect his family and other cops, particularly his team

THE FORCE is a frightening book about cops, drug dealers and gangsters and how they coexist in New York City. The book is full of violence, not-so subtle racial talk and excessive profanity. It reveals the dichotomy of being a NYPD cop. On one hand he exhibits heroism through crime fighting and on the other hand he shows signs of criminal behavior through shakedowns and bribes. Author Don Winslow uses the story of “hero cop”, detective Malone, as an example of how deep corruption can run in the political and justice systems. Winslow story also reflects some stereotypical characters. For example Malone is a son of an Irish-American cop. Malone’s brother was a firefighter who dies on 9/11. Malone’s team consisted of an Irishman, an Afro-American, an Italian and a Jew. Malone has a white wife in the suburbs and an Afro-American lover in the city.

The overriding theme of the book is how good cops end up dirty. My one issue with THE FORCE is that all cops are portrayed as corrupt which I think is a gross exaggeration. The book has no likable characters but is a book you will have difficulty putting down once you start reading it. I believe the book is already under agreement to be made into a movie.

Thanks to Booking Pap Pap for writing this insightful review and thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I loved this book - it did make me think about cops in a different way!