“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Thin Blue Blood

Kevin McCarthy points us in the direction of Edward Conlon, scion of a long line of Irish-American cops, and recommends BLUE BLOOD, Conlon’s memoir of his time as an NYPD cop. Sounds like a right corker - here’s the intro to Brian Schofield’s excellent review of the book in the Sunday Times:
In the unlikely event that you should ever shoot a New York police officer, it might be helpful to know the lengths to which their colleagues will go to catch you. In one particularly dogged pursuit, the force bought a nightclub and populated it entirely with undercover officers posing as mafiosi. Night after night, for months, a young wannabe wiseguy called Henry Vega socialised with the mock mobsters, chasing an invitation to become a “made man”. Eventually, he sought their trust by bragging about the time he shot a cop — only to discover, in a blur of badges and guns, that he was the star of his own personal Truman Show.
  That might sound like the overcooked plot of a TV police series, but the source is BLUE BLOOD, Edward Conlon’s memoir of seven years as a New York policeman, which oozes a credibility that’s beyond question. This ribald, unsparing description of life in the NYPD blue was a publishing sensation when it hit bookshops in America in 2004, garnering fans from Jay McInerney to James Frey.
  But at that time it was considered too detailed and parochial for British tastes. Then came The Wire, a television show that proved that a fanatically accurate portrayal of American cop talk, drugs trafficking and police office politics could draw a small but manically dedicated UK audience. So now Blue Blood has crossed the pond — but this gritty, grimy epic is no cheap cash-in, more of a high-water mark of realism and insider knowledge, against which the television shows have to measure up …”
  Conlon’s advice to anyone who’s watched too many cop shows on television is strident: “You want to know what my job is like? Go to your garage, piss in the corner, and stand there for eight hours.” - Brian Schofield, the Sunday Times
  For the review in its entirety, clickety-click here
  Apparently Conlon has now written a novel, called RED ON RED, which is due to be released early next year. Could be a cracker …

2 comments:

Dana King said...

I read BLUE BLOOD a year or so ago. Great book, hell of a read. Anyone interested in tales from a cop's perspective will want to read it. Conlon has good stories, and he tells them well. Highly recommended.

Declan Burke said...

Sounds like a good one alright, Dana. I'll be tracking it down ...

Cheers, Dec