Agora. Jan. 2021. 286p. ISBN 9781951709198. pap. $16.95. M
Just 15 minutes before his shift ends, LAPD homicide detective Niels Madsen rolls up on a scene that could destroy his career. The veteran cop sees a rookie holding a man at gunpoint at a bus stop. Madsen intervenes, only to discover the man has a gun, but he’s protecting the body of another man. Because of the body, Niels and his new partner take control of the crime scene. It appears that Francisco “Cisco” Gutierrez shot his friend, David. But appearances can be deceiving. Once a notorious gang member, Cisco now appears to be intellectually disabled. Madsen wants the truth for the victim’s family. A territorial dispute with the sheriff’s department, which sends over Cisco’s file but also wants to claim the suspect as their catch, muddies the case. Once Niels meets others who know Cisco now, he decides to prove the man did not kill David. The sheriff’s deputies seem to be waiting for Niels to make a mistake. It’s a setup for a violent conclusion.
VERDICT Stallings’s (Young Americans) challenging must-read for police procedural fans reflects today’s society. Forced to ask questions about bias, intellectual disability, police actions, and redemption, Niels stands in contrast to cops who resort to violence.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing