When Sonny Grosso's best friend Joe Longo, a detective on the Joint Task Force for Narcotics in New York, committed suicide (or was he murdered?) in an unmarked police car in Brooklyn, Sonny himself was too upset to think clearly. Since that spring day in 1972, he has reviewed Joe Longo's activities thoroughly and come up with this fact-fiction novel which sees Joe as the victim of a department scandal and of a setup by the federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Sonny, by the way, is the New York City cop who helped break the famous drug ring called the ""French Connection"" (in the movie he was the Roy Scheider character, not Gene Hackman's Popeye). The story begins in the Machiavellian middle of the action with Joe arresting Carlo Danzie, a drug dealer and middle man working out of the Americana Hotel. What Joe doesn't know is that although Danzie is a very, very real dealer, he's also a doubledealer informant and working for the feds' B.N.D.D. These folks decide to make Joe the patsy for their own incompetence, and Danzie becomes a tripledealer, leading Joe to think he's about to break a case even bigger than the ""French Connection."" What Joe gets into is a bind that may or may not have caused him to suicide. What the New York Police Department got into was the greatest robbery in history with itself as investigator, victim, and number-one suspect: the Property Clerk's Office had been robbed of $72 million worth of drugs (261 lbs. heroin, 137 lbs. cocaine), and someone had forged Joe Longo's name to the logbooks as having removed a vast amount of the missing ""stuff."" This basic idea has turned up in a lot of films and TV-cop-shows lately; here it has an engrossing grit.