THE COMMISSIONER by Richard Dougherty


Email this review


A full dossier goes to show with some authority (Dougherty was once associated with the New York City Police Department) that the policeman's lot, if not a happy one, is also not always above reproach. Still, the purpose here is not to arnish the buttons on the uniform but to show a big force in action with much of the procedural detail and the techniques which keep it effective. Dominant here is Anthony Russell, the Commissioner, a career cop who is something of a reformer and a disciplinarian, and a lonely man who has outgrown his marriage. During the three-day close-up now, Russell's own story alternates with that of his Chief Inspector Charley Kane, caught in an attempt to cover for his youngster, and with that of his two detectives, Dan Madigan and Rocky Bonaro who humiliatingly fail to bring in a killer, Benez. The machinery of the manhunt gets underway; the department uses its corps of informers and then other pressures to trace Benez to his sanctuary in a slum tenement; and Madigan gives his life to redeem the earlier fiasco.... Sympathetic and graphic, this photostats a lot of the fine print on this police blotter, amplifies it with the personal lives of those involved, and tells a steadily readable story. It is the November Literary Guild selection.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday