The Force

At the start of Don Winslow's The Force, New York Police Department "hero cop" Denny Malone is behind bars. How did he get there? Winslow takes readers through his descent step by step.

Detective Malone thinks of himself as king of Manhattan North. He heads up a special team called Da Force that can tackle cases without having to worry about departmental jurisdictional lines, because often crimes involve narcotics and guns and homicide. Over their 18 years on the job, Malone and his brothers in blue have slowly crossed their own lines--the ones between right and wrong. They rip off drug dealers, beat down child abusers, accept bribes--justifying it as street justice, doing wrong in order to do right. Until all they can do is wrong, and the only way Malone can make his way back is to do the unthinkable.

Like Da Force, Winslow is in command of his turf. He provides details that will make readers feel as though they're doing ride-alongs with these cops and being plunged into Manhattan's mean streets. He shows what it's like to be on the front lines and feel as if every day could be the last, to experience the high that comes with cheating death, to believe one might be invincible. What these cops go through--and become--isn't pretty, and readers may not like or forgive their actions. Winslow, however, reveals the abyss the members of Da Force have to gaze into in order to do their job, and how it's understandable that the abyss eventually gazes back. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, editor at The Edit Ninja

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