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"One of the unsung heroes of crime fiction" (Chicago Tribune), Kent Anderson, returns after two decades with this dazzling novel about justice, character, and fate, set against the backdrop of an American city at war with itself.
Oakland, California, 1983: a city churning with violent crime and racial conflict. Officer Hanson, a Vietnam veteran, has abandoned academia for the life-and-death clarity of police work, a way to live with the demons that followed him home from the war.
But Hanson knows that justice requires more than simply enforcing the penal code. He believes in becoming a part of the community he serves - which is why, unlike most officers, he chooses to live in the same town where he works. This strategy serves him well...to a point. He forges a precarious friendship with Felix Maxwell, the drug king of East Oakland, based on their shared sense of fairness and honor. He falls in love with Libya the moment he sees her, a confident and outspoken black woman. He is befriended by Weegee, a streetwise 11-year-old who is primed to become a dope dealer.
Every day, every shift, tests a cop's boundaries between the man he wants to be and the officer of the law he's required to be. At last an off-duty shooting forces Hanson to finally face who he is, and which side of the law he belongs on.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Gypsy Wife on 04-01-18
An Unusual and Rich Story
Kent Anderson does not simply write; he richly paints with words and surrounds his characters with luscious, beautiful and violent detail that strikes the heart of the reader and leaves a permanent mark. Officer Hanson will live somewhere inside my mind forever. This novel is a most vividly intimate portrayal of a troubled, flawed man struggling to rise above his past and his present. I held my breath wondering what would happen to him and to the equally rich characters with whom he interacted daily. A masterpiece and a truthful tale of the life of a police officer, built in layer upon layer of complicated thoughts, feelings and decisions on the part of everyone in the book. A story of hope rising in a place of deep hopelessness. Make this a must-listen and you won't regret it.