This superb memoir can be read for its sheer entertainment or as a primer on police work—or both.

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BLUE ON BLUE

AN INSIDER'S STORY OF GOOD COPS CATCHING BAD COPS

A recently retired high-ranking New York City police supervisor recounts his career, with an emphasis on his unpleasant but necessary assignment flushing out corrupt cops.

With assistance from journalist Dillow (co-author: Trauma Red: The Making of a Surgeon in War and in America's Cities, 2014, etc.), Campisi offers a compelling, educational, memorable account of his rise through the police department ranks until he was ordered to accept an assignment no cop ever wanted: to become part of the Internal Affairs Bureau, hostilely known among rank-and-file police as "the rat squad." Before his appointment, the bureau had been viewed as a dumping ground for incompetent, lazy, or previously dirty officers. With aggressive support from a new police chief, Campisi found ways to alter the reputation of the bureau while also improving techniques to catch and punish cops who cut corners, stole drugs, or employed excessive force. The author does not shy away from going behind the scenes of infamous cases, including the brutalizing of Abner Louima and the shooting death of Amadou Diallo. Refreshingly, Campisi rarely comes across as defensive about the police department, but he does emphasize that an overwhelming percentage of the 30,000-plus cops on the job in NYC handle their responsibilities as prescribed. Another element that Campisi relates without sounding defensive is the idea of the "blue wall of silence”—good cops protecting corrupt cops. The author writes convincingly that such protective behavior is also common among physicians, lawyers, and many other professions. Though Campisi expected to remain within the Internal Affairs Bureau for two years, he served there for a record-setting 21 years before retiring in 2014. He is worried that since his retirement, the unit's aggressiveness might have been de-emphasized, with a parallel concern that the lax screening of cops might lead to terrorist infiltration of the NYPD.

This superb memoir can be read for its sheer entertainment or as a primer on police work—or both.

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2719-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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