FICTION

The Force

Morrow. Jun. 2017. 400p. ISBN 9780062664419. $27.99; pap. ISBN 9780062684288. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062664426. F
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After more than a dozen acclaimed, under-the-radar novels, Winslow moved into the first rank of American thriller writers with his drug-war odyssey The Cartel. His latest offers a similarly epic take on the cop novel, though it lacks its predecessor's singular brilliance. Denny Malone, a veteran NYPD detective sergeant, stalks the streets of Upper Manhattan, knowing nothing happens or gets dealt without his knowledge or consent. The higher-ups have given his elite team, "Da Force," free rein to keep the peace, even if rules are bent and spoils pocketed along the way. In a city where someone's going to profit off the drugs and the violence, why shouldn't it be his team? Malone prides himself on loyalty and tradition, but after a multimillion-dollar heroin bust gets the attention of the feds, he's forced to make an unthinkable decision: to turn on his brother cops and rat on his beloved teammates.
VERDICT Winslow's writing, with its torrents of profane, single-sentence paragraphs, is as potent as ever, but his story's trajectory is familiar, particularly for fans of the show The Shield. Despite those reservations, this propulsive novel should be eagerly welcomed by readers of Ken Bruen. [See Prepub Alert, 12/12/16.]

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