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BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD by Michael Ledwidge

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD

By Michael Ledwidge

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7434-4285-7
Publisher: Atria

Fast-paced thriller about a good cop’s desperate attempt to cope with a bad deal.

Write a job description for a first-rate young police officer, and John Colgin would qualify as an NYPD paradigm. Brave, honest, smart, unshakable in his view of law enforcement as a high calling, he’s exactly what NYPD brass should want to see in blue. Or so you’d think. And so did Colgin, until suddenly it all fell apart for him because—and there was really no other way to look at it—NYPD brass wanted it to. He has no idea why. All he knows for sure is that after intervening to save an old man from a brutal beating, he’d ended having to shoot the assailant to save his own life: a rightful case of self-defense if ever there was one. Yet, a month later, there’s Colgin facing a charge of second-degree murder that almost no one, including his lawyer, thinks he can beat. He’s friendless, embattled, and, since he’s thoroughly aware of what an ex-cop can expect at the hands of the hard-timers—more than a little scared. Enter Aidan O’Donnell, Colgin’s reprobate uncle fresh out of San Quentin but not out of family feeling. In his own dubious way, he cares for Colgin and generously offers him a prominent place in his next venture: grand larceny. Then, take the money and run, he tells his nephew. It’s the measure of Colgin’s mind-numbing bitterness that he regards this as a feasible plan. It goes terribly wrong, of course, hardly a surprise. What is a surprise, though, to Colgin at least, when at last he figures it out, is the combination of circumstances that made him an NYPD patsy.

A lickety-split ride. Ledwidge (Bad Connection, 2001, etc.) races over plot-holes as if they weren’t there, which will be good enough for most swept-along readers.