The Force
The acclaimed, award-winning, bestselling author of The Cartel—voted one of the Best Books of the Year by more than sixty publications, including the New York Times—makes his William Morrow debut with a cinematic epic as explosive, powerful, and unforgettable as Mystic River and The Wire.Our ends know our beginnings, but the reverse isn’t true . . .All Denny Malone wants is to be a good cop.He is "the King of Manhattan North," a highly decorated NYPD detective sergeant and the real leader of "Da Force." Malone and his crew are the smartest, the toughest, the quickest, the bravest, and the baddest, an elite special unit given carte blanche to fight gangs, drugs, and guns. Every day and every night for the eighteen years he’s spent on the Job, Malone has served on the front lines, witnessing the hurt, the dead, the victims, the perps. He’s done whatever it takes to serve and protect in a city built by ambition and corruption, where no one is clean—including Malone himself.What only a few know is that Denny Malone is dirty: he and his partners have stolen millions of dollars in drugs and cash in the wake of the biggest heroin bust in the city’s history. Now Malone is caught in a trap and being squeezed by the Feds, and he must walk the thin line between betraying his brothers and partners, the Job, his family, and the woman he loves, trying to survive, body and soul, while the city teeters on the brink of a racial conflagration that could destroy them all.This is the great cop novel of our time and a book only Don Winslow could write: a haunting story of greed and violence, inequality and race, crime and injustice, retribution and redemption that reveals the seemingly insurmountable tensions between the police and the diverse citizens they serve. A searing portrait of a city on the edge and of a courageous, heroic, and deeply flawed man who stands at the edge of its abyss, The Force is a masterpiece of urban realism full of shocking and surprising twists, leavened by flashes of dark humor, a morally complex and utterly riveting dissection of modern American society and the controversial issues confronting us today.

The Force Details

TitleThe Force
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 20th, 2017
PublisherWilliam Morrow
ISBN0062664417
ISBN-139780062664419
Number of pages496 pages
Rating
GenreFiction, Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Emergency Services, Police

The Force Review

  • Will Byrnes
    February 23, 2017
    …he started out with his eyes firmly on the guiding star, his feet planted on the path, but that’s the thing about the life you walk—you start out pointed true North, but you vary one degree off, it doesn’t matter for maybe one year, five years, but as the years stack up you’re just walking farther and farther away from where you started out to go, you don’t even know you’re lost until you’re so far from your original destination you can’t even see it anymore - Don Winslow Uneasy lies the head …he started out with his eyes firmly on the guiding star, his feet planted on the path, but that’s the thing about the life you walk—you start out pointed true North, but you vary one degree off, it doesn’t matter for maybe one year, five years, but as the years stack up you’re just walking farther and farther away from where you started out to go, you don’t even know you’re lost until you’re so far from your original destination you can’t even see it anymore - Don Winslow Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown - Henry IV Part 2 – W. Shakespeare After eighteen years in the NYPD, Detective Sergeant Denny Malone has good cause for unease. The de facto king of Manhattan North has seen considerable upheaval in his kingdom. He may be, effectively, the head of this select unit, charged with going after gangs, drugs, and guns. “Da Force” may have unusually free rein to do as they see fit to accomplish their goals. But a turf war between competing providers of recreational pharmaceuticals is growing increasingly kinetic, with one of the combatants looking to purchase a considerable supply of death-dealing hardware. Not OK. The captain is pressing for a high-publicity bust. There is also the perennial political dance one must perform to keep the brass at One Police Plaza and the political suits from interfering with business as usual. Of course, what passes for business as usual might not look all that good splashed across the front pages of the local tabloids. Don Winslow - image from Milanonera.com Bribery may be the grease that keeps the wheels of civilization turning, but it leaves a lot of cops with very dirty hands. Denny is no saint, and no Serpico. He may mean well for the community he is charged with protecting, but his methods often lack the soft gleam of legality. We first meet him as he arrives in federal lockup. The novel then goes back to show how he got there. Slippery slope stuff. See the greased wheels above. The street stays with you. It sinks into your pores and then your blood. And into your soul? Malone asks himself. You gonna blame that on the street too? Some of it, yeah. You’ve been breathing corruption since you put on the shield, Malone thinks. Like you breathed in death that day in September. Corruption isn’t just in the city’s air, it’s in its DNA, yours too. Yeah, blame it on the city, blame it on New York. Blame it on the Job, It’s too easy, it stops you from asking yourself the hard question. How did you get here? Like anyplace else. A step at a time. Lines are crossed here with the frequency of runners reaching the end of the NYC marathon. Early on, Denny and his crew take out a major distributor, whack the principal, and skim off a significant portion of the captured product, a bit of an extra retirement fund. Some people are a tad upset by this. It’s not exactly much of a secret, though, and there are those who would like to see Denny being saluted by the entire force in Dress Blues and white gloves while someone plays Taps.One of the great powers of this novel is the perspective offered on diverse forms of human behavior. Is Denny a brute for roughing up a guy who beat up a kid? Definitely outside the law, but are his actions effective? Denny really does care about the people in his kingdom. He cuts slack when possible, and brutalizes when it is called for. But the law seems a lot more of a recommendation than an absolute. Winslow offers a close up look at a dark element of police culture. How does being on the take work? Who gets what? How is money distributed? Who is it ok to accept bribes from? What is allowed that would otherwise be justiceable? And why do the cops here consider it ok? He offers as well a moving look at the human relationships that make up police life, the code of honor, the power of partnership, the requirement that all members of the team partake of the ill-gotten, if only as a means of self-protection, the wives who turn a blind eye to where that extra cash may have originated, and what their breadwinner may be up to when the crew parties hard, up to a point anyway. The interaction between the police and people in their area is rich with real affection, as well as the expected cynicism. Some of these scenes are stunningly moving, tissue worthy.How about the relationship between cops and the local criminal element? You might be reminded of those cartoons in which Bugs Bunny and Wile E. Coyote punch a time clock, go at it, then clock out at the end of the day, friends. The cops and criminals often seem cut from the same cloth, although the baddest of the bad guys are certainly much worse than the worst of the cops. And the bullets really kill. Winslow does not spare the one-percent, either, in his look at layers of amorality. Don Winslow is a seasoned writer at the pinnacle of his craft. Malone drives past the Wahi diner and the mural of a raven on 155th. Past the church of the Intercession, but it’s too late for Intercession, past Trinity Cemetery and the Apollo Pharmacy, the Big Brother Barber shop, Hamilton Fruits and Vegetables and all the small gods of place, the personal shrines, the markers of his life on these streets that he loves like a husband loves a cheating wife, a father loves a wayward son. There are wonderful nuggets of law enforcement intel in here. Like the notion of testilying. Or what is considered proper attire for a day on the stand. How about special celebratory nights for a crew? The upside of EMTs not taking a Hippocratic oath. Rules for note-taking on the job. How 9/11 saved the mob. Planning your crimes so they cross as many precinct boundaries as possible, increasing the likelihood that a paperwork snafu will botch a prosecution. On tribes within the force.Winslow has a Damon Runyon-esque ear for character names. My favorites were a CI named Nasty Ass, and another the cops call Oh No, Henry, and a linguist’s appreciation for the local patois. Or maybe that would be another well-known teller of tales. (I think Dickens is one of the progenitors of noir fiction, writing as he did about the criminal underclass.) He peppers the novel with delicious small side-stories. Tales told in a bar by guys who have been spinning yarns for a lifetime. They give us occasional breathers from the breakneck pace. He takes on topics that will resonate, from Blue on Black violence, and the resulting reactions, to how the jails are functioning as de facto mental hospitals and detox centers. From a consideration of God and the Church (Denny is not a fan) to the impact of the job on people’s lives. Denny recalls his father. He was a cop on these streets, coming home in the morning after a graveyard shift with murder in his eyes, death in his nose and an icicle in his heart that never melted and eventually killed him. From how cops cope with the daily horrors to how the crime numbers are cooked to support whatever preconceived outcome was desired. On the Iron Pipeline, the route on which legal guns from Texas, Arizona, Alabama and the Carolinas become illegal guns in NYC. The politics of police tactics and voting. The hatred and respect the cops have for the best defense lawyers. Their relationship with reporters. You trust a reporter like you trust a dog. You got a bone in your hand, you’re feeding him, you’re good. Your hand’s empty, don’t turn your back. You either feed the media or it eats you.Denny may be dirty, but you will be dashing along with him and hoping for the best. Maybe this whole situation can be fixed. He is a rich, multi-faceted character, and you will most definitely care what happens to him. Think Popeye (Gene Hackman) of The French Connction, or Lieutenant Matt Wozniak (Ray Liotta) on the wonderful TV show Shades of Blue.You might want to secure your seat belt and make sure that your Kevlar is all where is it is supposed to be. This is a non-stop, rock’em, sock’em high-speed chase of a novel, a dizzying dash through an underworld of cops, criminals, and those caught in the middle, screeching stops, and doubling backs, hard lefts, harder rights, and Saturn V level acceleration. Once you catch your breath after finishing the final pages I expect you’ll find yourself realizing just what a treat it has been. The Force is not just a great cop book, it is a great book, period, a Shakespearean tragedy of high ideals brought low, with one of the great cop characters of all time. The Force is an instant classic. Review posted – February 24, 2017Publication date – June 20, 2017=============================EXTRA STUFFDon Winslow has written many books. Some have been made into films. I have read none of them, so can offer no real insight into what carried forward from his prior work, or where new notions or techniques may have come into play. I read this totally as a stand-alone.Links to the author’s personal, Twitter and FB pagesThis page has many links to related interviews and materialsAn article by Winslow in Esquire - EL CHAPO AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE HEROIN CRISISInterviews----- Litsack -----Hi. My name is Don Winslow, and I'm a writing addict - by John Wilkins for the San Diego Union Tribune
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  • Carol
    March 9, 2017
    You tell me. Who are the bad guys, who are the good?Denny Malone, NYPD Detective Sergeant, head of The Manhattan North Special Task Force; all he ever wanted was to be a good cop.Have you ever dug a hole? That’s the only way I can describe The Force. You dig. The hole gets bigger. The bigger the hole gets it's hard to keep the dirt from seeping back in. If you’re not careful you’ll find yourself becoming part of that fill.June 20, 2017 – Let the countdown begin!The Force by Don Winslow8,899,200 You tell me. Who are the bad guys, who are the good?Denny Malone, NYPD Detective Sergeant, head of The Manhattan North Special Task Force; all he ever wanted was to be a good cop.Have you ever dug a hole? That’s the only way I can describe The Force. You dig. The hole gets bigger. The bigger the hole gets it's hard to keep the dirt from seeping back in. If you’re not careful you’ll find yourself becoming part of that fill.June 20, 2017 – Let the countdown begin!The Force by Don Winslow8,899,200 seconds148,320 minutes2,472 hours3 months15 weeks103 days“May Da Force be with you!”My sincere thanks to Edelweiss, William Morrow and Don Winslow for granting me the opportunity to read this exhilarating read. Bound to be the hit of summer reading.*Realtime Countdown Timer (EST)
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  • Suzanne
    April 22, 2017
    The Force is a breath-taking tale of the hubris, greed and injustice that permeates life among the police and their informants, victims, perpetrators and citizens in Manhattan North. Denny Malone, the anti-hero of our tale, believes himself to be the King of this territory and the leader of this gang. Supposedly he answers to his command structure but not in any way that infringes upon the actual activities of the men in The Force, who rival the criminals in their pursuit of money-making activit The Force is a breath-taking tale of the hubris, greed and injustice that permeates life among the police and their informants, victims, perpetrators and citizens in Manhattan North. Denny Malone, the anti-hero of our tale, believes himself to be the King of this territory and the leader of this gang. Supposedly he answers to his command structure but not in any way that infringes upon the actual activities of the men in The Force, who rival the criminals in their pursuit of money-making activities. Eventually, someone, the Mafia or any of the drug running gangs will get tired of the competition. You just feel, as a reader, the sense that this cannot end well. The foreboding and the drama of the entire situation keeps amping up and there doesn't seem any way that all of this can end well. Or can it? The author seems to pull rabbits out of a hat, just as Denny might in a desperate attempt to solve the endless problems. I could not stop reading this book. I couldn't figure out what would happen next. It is taut, sad, exciting and riveting. I received my copy from the publisher through edelweiss. I will read it again. It really is that good.
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  • Debra
    February 25, 2017
    Stephen King recommended book. He tweeted: "Don Winslow's THE FORCE (coming in June) is mesmerizing, a triumph. Think THE GODFATHER, only with cops. It's that good."
  • Michael
    February 16, 2017
    My review for this novel was published in the April 1, 2017, edition of Library Journal:After more than a dozen acclaimed, under-the-radar novels, Winslow moved into the first rank of American thriller writers with his drug-war odyssey The Cartel. His latest offers a similarly epic take on the cop novel, though it lacks its predecessor's singular brilliance. Denny Malone, a veteran NYPD detective sergeant, stalks the streets of Upper Manhattan, knowing nothing happens or gets dealt without his k My review for this novel was published in the April 1, 2017, edition of Library Journal:After more than a dozen acclaimed, under-the-radar novels, Winslow moved into the first rank of American thriller writers with his drug-war odyssey The Cartel. His latest offers a similarly epic take on the cop novel, though it lacks its predecessor's singular brilliance. Denny Malone, a veteran NYPD detective sergeant, stalks the streets of Upper Manhattan, knowing nothing happens or gets dealt without his knowledge or consent. The higher-ups have given his elite team, "Da Force," free rein to keep the peace, even if rules are bent and spoils pocketed along the way. In a city where someone's going to profit off the drugs and the violence, why shouldn't it be his team? Malone prides himself on loyalty and tradition, but after a multimillion-dollar heroin bust gets the attention of the feds, he's forced to make an unthinkable decision: to turn on his brother cops and rat on his beloved teammates. VERDICT Winslow's writing, with its torrents of profane, single-sentence paragraphs, is as potent as ever, but his story's trajectory is familiar, particularly for fans of the show The Shield. Despite those reservations, this propulsive novel should be eagerly welcomed by readers of Ken Bruen.Copyright ©2017 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
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  • Shaon Castleberry
    March 28, 2017
    Good police story. Story drug a bit in the middle. Winslow created characters that, while they were not perfect, made one care about them.
  • Tom Dooley
    May 14, 2017
    This is a must read, must have book! I've always admired Don Winslow's work. From The Kings of Cool, Savages,The Death and Life of Bobby Z. This I think is his best yet. Some have compared this book to "The Shield. While "The Shield"is great, I think they don't really compare. One big reason is with "The Force" you picture the story in your mind as it's happening. With "The Shield"it's on the screen in front of you. This book is about a elite crew of police officers that runs Upper Manhattan Nor This is a must read, must have book! I've always admired Don Winslow's work. From The Kings of Cool, Savages,The Death and Life of Bobby Z. This I think is his best yet. Some have compared this book to "The Shield. While "The Shield"is great, I think they don't really compare. One big reason is with "The Force" you picture the story in your mind as it's happening. With "The Shield"it's on the screen in front of you. This book is about a elite crew of police officers that runs Upper Manhattan North. Noting happens on those streets that Da Force doesn't know about. They not only hand out law and order, they control what crimes happen and when they happen. They have been on the take from city government and from the crime lords for a long time. The members of Da Force have a ultimate goal of retiring and taking care of their families. The leader of Da Force is Sergeant Denny Malone. He runs the crew liked a well oiled machine. But each member of Da Force had their own set of private problems. But every crew member knows the others crew members problems. Denny Malone for example is separated from wife and​ his 2 kids like with his wife. He shacked up a his ex-junkie girlfriend Claudette who is a nurse, so easy access to drugs. Denny trusts no one but his crew. Things start to take a turn and Da Force can't keep up with the soon headed their way. Then as things fall apart they start turning on each other. Da Force is in a war with just about everybody and are trying not to get killed in the process. This is a page turner all the way. I intentionally read it slow because I really enjoyed the feel of the story. You can feel yourself experience everything that is happening in the story. I would recommend this book to anyone along with Don's other work. Don't miss this one!
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  • Dan Radovich
    May 5, 2017
    I have enjoyed Winslow's writing for some time now, but recently he has begun to kick butt! Similar stories have been written for years: good cop goes bad, cop gets carried away with 'power'.... but in the hands of a truly talented storyteller you find magic. Winslow is that kind of storyteller. Denny Malone has spent 18 years on 'Da Force' working a special unit handling drugs, guns and gangs. He is caught in a trap being a dirty cop, and his life spirals when the Feds push him to turn over his I have enjoyed Winslow's writing for some time now, but recently he has begun to kick butt! Similar stories have been written for years: good cop goes bad, cop gets carried away with 'power'.... but in the hands of a truly talented storyteller you find magic. Winslow is that kind of storyteller. Denny Malone has spent 18 years on 'Da Force' working a special unit handling drugs, guns and gangs. He is caught in a trap being a dirty cop, and his life spirals when the Feds push him to turn over his partners. The story moves along quickly from start to finish with only a bump or two in the middle. Plenty of good characters, stock characters and LOADS of action. It's a big story, and Winslow handles it all wonderfully.
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  • Ron S
    May 4, 2017
    An elite NYC police task force slides into corruption. Change the soundtrack, the clothes and cars and remove references to 9/11 and you'd have a Richard Price novel from 25 years ago. While that is high praise in a sense, this book suffers from the familiarity born out of the number of books, movies and TV series having covered the same ground. That said, if want you're after is suspenseful, well written crime fiction that you can immerse yourself into, this is about as good as it gets. May Da An elite NYC police task force slides into corruption. Change the soundtrack, the clothes and cars and remove references to 9/11 and you'd have a Richard Price novel from 25 years ago. While that is high praise in a sense, this book suffers from the familiarity born out of the number of books, movies and TV series having covered the same ground. That said, if want you're after is suspenseful, well written crime fiction that you can immerse yourself into, this is about as good as it gets. May Da Force be with you.
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  • George Poppenwimer
    May 19, 2017
    I received this advance readers copy as part of a Goodreads Giveaway.Good read, fast paced but still decent character development. This is the first book I've read by Don Winslow but it was good enough that I will definitely try another one, probably "The Cartel".Although it didn't cause me to reduce my rating, I did notice that the story line seemed to parallel "The Shield" mini series but moved to NY. But then, I really liked "The Shield" so I didn't count that against "The Force". Maybe they I received this advance readers copy as part of a Goodreads Giveaway.Good read, fast paced but still decent character development. This is the first book I've read by Don Winslow but it was good enough that I will definitely try another one, probably "The Cartel".Although it didn't cause me to reduce my rating, I did notice that the story line seemed to parallel "The Shield" mini series but moved to NY. But then, I really liked "The Shield" so I didn't count that against "The Force". Maybe they can get Michael Chiklis to play Denny Malone in the movie adaptation!
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  • Brad
    May 30, 2017
    The Force is completely engrossing and delves considerably deeper than most crime novels into the morality and psychology of good/bad, right/wrong, and how we can slowly corrupt ourselves. An epic crime drama by a master at the height of his skills. A must read for any crime fiction readers. Wow.
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  • Jessica
    May 15, 2017
    Thank you so much Goodreads and William Morrow Books for allowing me to win an ARC copy of this book. This is my honest opinion of the book. I felt the beginning of the book was a little slow and a little too descriptive. When I was almost halfway through the book I was hooked! The police corruption within the elite force is very interesting and also thrilling. You are able to connect with the characters at a deep level from the very beginning. This is a very well written book and I would highly Thank you so much Goodreads and William Morrow Books for allowing me to win an ARC copy of this book. This is my honest opinion of the book. I felt the beginning of the book was a little slow and a little too descriptive. When I was almost halfway through the book I was hooked! The police corruption within the elite force is very interesting and also thrilling. You are able to connect with the characters at a deep level from the very beginning. This is a very well written book and I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes police thrillers!
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  • Jessica Stuart
    May 11, 2017
    Kind of disappointed, considering how awesome The Cartel was. And although I know it was par for the main character, I'm not a giant fan of the constant use of racial slurs.
  • Carmen Renzulli
    May 7, 2017
    i loved this book because it was so well written and hooked you into the story. i highly recommend it.
  • Thomas Pluck
    May 16, 2017
    one of the best Police thrillers I've ever read. a fearless dive into New York City corruption from the top down.
  • Michelle Olms
    May 31, 2017
    Great book
  • Robyn
    May 21, 2017
    First and foremost thank you to William Morrow and Goodreads for the giveaway for ARC. The main reason I selected this book for the giveaway was because of Stephen King. I thank you for selecting me for a winner. To be honest I have never read this author until now. The Force, will not be the last that I read although the language was a little much for me at times. I have a friend who suggested that I read "The Cartel" next. She said it was a really good book as well. June 20th, you totally need First and foremost thank you to William Morrow and Goodreads for the giveaway for ARC. The main reason I selected this book for the giveaway was because of Stephen King. I thank you for selecting me for a winner. To be honest I have never read this author until now. The Force, will not be the last that I read although the language was a little much for me at times. I have a friend who suggested that I read "The Cartel" next. She said it was a really good book as well. June 20th, you totally need to buy this book, pre-order or be the first in line.This book started a little slow for me, but hang on, keep reading, it is detailed for a reason. You will feel yourself getting into the story, being part of the story, which is full of suspense and you won't want it to end. Their jobs are never finished, and trying to decide if you love them or hate them. They are in a situation where they try to protect their families, but all the while moving to the dark side. I love the New York setting. I did not want this book to end ~
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  • deep
    April 8, 2017
    PW Starred: Edgar-finalist Winslow (The Cartel) peers into the soul of modern America through the eyes of a supremely skilled and corrupt police officer, in this epic novel of devastating moral complexity. Dennis Malone, a veteran NYPD detective sergeant, leads the Manhattan North Special Task Force, an elite unit established to combat drugs, gangs, and guns. Keeping the citizens safe is often messy work and sometimes requires unorthodox methods to get results. Gradually, however, Malone and his PW Starred: Edgar-finalist Winslow (The Cartel) peers into the soul of modern America through the eyes of a supremely skilled and corrupt police officer, in this epic novel of devastating moral complexity. Dennis Malone, a veteran NYPD detective sergeant, leads the Manhattan North Special Task Force, an elite unit established to combat drugs, gangs, and guns. Keeping the citizens safe is often messy work and sometimes requires unorthodox methods to get results. Gradually, however, Malone and his crew have slipped over the edge, stealing millions in drugs and cash over the years, including a massive amount of heroin seized in the city’s biggest-ever drug bust. Now the feds have built a case against Malone, and they threaten to take him down if he doesn’t help bring in bigger players in the criminal food chain, even if it means betraying his partners. As the reader discovers, Malone’s corruption is but a tiny part of a much larger system that extends into the highest reaches of New York’s power structure, where the real business is done, and everyone on the chain takes a cut. Fans of modern masters such as Don DeLillo, Richard Price, and George Pelecanos will be richly rewarded. Agent: Shane Salerno, Story Factory. (June)
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  • Brian
    June 2, 2017
    ***
  • Les Roberts
    April 29, 2017
    THE FORCE is simply astonishing. Don Winslow had written an epic book, the best book about cops I've ever read. Violent, profane, touching, take-your-breath-away suspenseful, with a gallery of good guys, bad guys, and guys (and women) in between that are brilliantly created characters who will stay with you long after you've read the last page.The Force, or more appropriately Da Force, is a group of tough, brave, and more or less independently-operating cops who rule the upper end of Manhattan I THE FORCE is simply astonishing. Don Winslow had written an epic book, the best book about cops I've ever read. Violent, profane, touching, take-your-breath-away suspenseful, with a gallery of good guys, bad guys, and guys (and women) in between that are brilliantly created characters who will stay with you long after you've read the last page.The Force, or more appropriately Da Force, is a group of tough, brave, and more or less independently-operating cops who rule the upper end of Manhattan Island, mostly dealing with the drug lords who kill first and ask questions later. Are they somewhat crooked cops? Is the Pope Catholic? But they have a job to do, one that is never finished, because when they wipe out one group of criminals, there are others just standing by to take their place—and doing that job puts their lives on the line every single day.They are rugged, flinty, destructive when dealing with those beyond the law. With their families, their lovers, and especially with each other—it is a family, after all—they are kind, supportive, gentle and loving. You'll be exhausted trying to decide whether to love these guys, or hate them, or at least understand them. I'm ready to sit down and read it all over again. Five stars!!!!!!!
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