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The Force

The Force

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Detective Sergeant Denny Malone was kingpin of the Manhattan North Special Task Force. NYPD's most respected, elite unit. They were responsible for reducing violent crimes and drugs in their precinct. No matter what it took, who they rolled over, they got the job done. It could be said, they were the CIA of the NYPD Blue. A questo bisogna aggiungere che Winslow ha cominciato facendo la sorveglianza sui borseggiatori nei cinema, poi è stato un investigatore privato per una ventina d’anni occupandosi di frodi, incendi dolosi, abusi sessuali sui bambini, tutte esperienze che lo portano a dire che l’uomo non è buono. La vita ti fa diventare più furbo, non migliore.

Winslow’s knowledge of the history of New York’s crime, cops, politicians & scandals is encyclopedic. I can’t begin to imagine the hours of research & the whole thing reads like a dark, violent love letter to the city. This is not a criticism by any means. I think it’s great when a writer of talent decides to use that skill in a genre piece. It would be going too far to say that Winslow redefines the life-on-the-streets novel. Certainly, though, he delivers a stunning epic of cops and drug dealers and cops who are drug dealers. Simply put, his latest book, The Force, is nothing short of a masterpiece, and it appears to be the book which might finally make Winslow a household name. While the story of corruption in the ranks of the NYPD may be a familiar one, in Winslow's hands, it is raw and gripping, one of those books you can't stop reading, and it feels incredibly current. It is definitely one which will make one hell of a movie. (And it already has been optioned, so it will be one to watch!)

Beyond the Book

Winslow also explores the ideas of corruption in the context of public service and of double standards that exist and what levels of corruption are tolerated and even accepted. Malone observes that what is OK for the rich and famous, the politically well-connected and mainstays of society is seen as abhorrent when committed by cops, the blue-collar workers of our criminal justice system, on the streets and in the trenches. Where is the line drawn? A free cup of coffee and a sandwich? A favor? When does this become a bribe or graft? Malone and his partners have given every inch of themselves to the city. They've put themselves at serious risk of injury and death (and have the scars to show for it), and have witnessed the utter horrors that people inflict on one another, whether due to the influence of drugs and alcohol, for revenge or retribution, if they perceive someone is threatening their business interests, or simply out of boredom or cruelty. It's a job that wears you down, but Malone and his partners and his fellow officers love it anyway.

Internal monologue is a staple in cop books. There are rules, things you do and things you don't, and if the cop in your cop book can't talk to himself in his own head, how are the readers going to know that he's tortured? That he's a good man going bad (or a bad man going worse)? That he has hopes and dreams that extend beyond these streets and the barrel of this gun? Ultimately, the novel is an indictment of a bedlam system rife with corruption, graft and favors for the penthouse set, giving color to the phrase, "the fish always stinks from the head downwards." I sat on reviewing this one for quite some time. It was too hard. Gritty, violent, depressing, sad and smart all at once, if that is possible. The first book I have read by this author, and I was impressed. I loved the imagery of all this mess and mixed-up sensibilities. All Da Force detectives are kings, but Malone—with no disrespect intended to our Lord and Savior—is the King of Kings. Manhattan North is the Kingdom of Malone. Like with any king, his subjects love him and fear him, revere him and loathe him, praise him and revile him. He has his loyalists and rivals, his sycophants and critics, his jesters and advisers, but he has no real friends. Except his partners." Hang with me a second here. At many points throughout the novel, Denny Malone is referred to as "the king of Manhattan North." He refers to himself that way, and talks (often, internally and externally) about ruling the streets of his kingdom. The cops have their castles. The bad guys have theirs. There's turf, divvied up between mobsters and gangsters and the police — all of them lords and barons of their territory, ruling with violence, struggling to keep a status quo where everyone earns, everyone eats, and no wars break out.

Human life, frailty, and nuances of life on the street, love, loss, greed and power. There are real people out there behind the drugs and poverty. Denny does make a difference, and the reader may want him to come out on top, but he’s a bad guy. Books that stir empathy and the gunning for the protagonist that is deeply flawed, unethical, dirty, fraudulent – at the same time as having good qualities as well. It’s also like watching The Gangs of New York – our gang is bigger than your gang. The NYPD is the biggest gang on the streets and it’s a turf war. But like in Scorsese’s film, the Feds are the biggest gang of all. The basic ingredients of The Force are pretty recognizable. I mean, “corrupt cop” is almost its own genre. This will feel incredibly familiar to anyone who has watched The Shield or American Gangster or Training Day (Denzel Washington’s Alonzo Harris feels like a model for Malone). Moreover, Winslow’s combination of propulsive plot, local knowledge, grasp of vernacular and idiom, and sprinkling of social commentary follows in the footsteps of such masters as Richard Price and David Simon.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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