Don Winslow’s ‘The Force’ takes graphic look at NYPD

June 21, 2017 GMT

“The Force: a Novel” (William Morrow), by Don Winslow

Don Winslow takes a graphic and gritty look inside the world of the NYPD in “The Force.”

The complexity of the narrative starts right away, when the reader meets Denny Malone, a NYPD detective who runs a special unit of fellow cops who battle street gangs and drug dealers while putting their lives on the line to keep the citizens of New York City safe. Malone is considered the king of Manhattan North, and he has been decorated with numerous awards for his actions in over 18 years in service. The time immersed in such a hostile world has taken its toll, and where once Malone was a cop trying to do the right thing, he’s now a corrupt officer barely hanging on to his sanity and life.


The descent into the criminal side of the equation began with a slight deviation here and there. Soon Malone and his team abscond with millions of dollars in drugs and cash after a massive heroin bust. Now it’s about covering for each other and living with constant lies while still trying to do the right thing.

The immersion into the world of the NYPD is so brutal and honest that it’s difficult to imagine that Winslow was never a policeman. This novel doesn’t shy away from any uncomfortable subject.