Gritty, gripping first novel deconstructs the NYPD the way Joseph Wambaugh once anatomized the LAPD.
Two cops, one a savvy veteran, the other just as smart but a bit starry-eyed. Strangers to each other, they’re about to become partners in Brooklyn’s 62nd Precinct. Detective Joe Rizzo is in the twilight of an exceptional career. He’s seen it all; understands the often murky ways of the NYPD; and can be cavalier about legalities when they stand in the way of what matters most to him: getting the job done. “There is no right. There is no wrong,” runs Joe’s mantra. “There just is.” Mike McQueen, 28, has arrived at the 62nd after an exemplary apprenticeship in uniform, but first-rate performance is not what’s earned him his brand-new shield. He knows he got lucky, was in the right place when an important person needed help, rendered it and reaped the benefits. Mike’s ambitious. He sees himself in high command one day and in the meantime wants nothing blotting his copybook. Joe has long since let ambition go; besides, he has a certain ongoing, promotion-negating problem with Internal Affairs. Though respectful of each other’s talents and abilities, the two approach partnership with caution. Mike is leery of Joe’s short cuts. Joe isn’t sure that Mike will have his back in any and all circumstances. Now a test looms. A powerful politician’s emotionally unstable daughter has gone missing, and the partners are charged with finding her. The assignment will confront them with the systemic corruption both find despicable, and with attendant dilemmas. Which means, of course, that hard decisions must be made.
Strong characters and a compelling story. Manfredo has logged 25 years in the criminal justice system, and it shows on every authentic page.