All Denny Malone wants is to be a good cop.
He’s 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 unit given unrestricted authority to wage war on 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.
The Force is 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 and a courageous, heroic, and deeply flawed man who stands at the edge of its abyss, it is a masterpiece of urban realism full of shocking 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.
"Narrator Dion Graham sounds like a native of any of the neighborhoods that make up the Manhattan North police special operations area. He does white, black, and Latino cops and Staten Island, Harlem, and Bronx accents - all so smoothly you never notice the transitions but also never lose track of the character he's voicing. The nonstop drama and violence are perfectly choreographed through his impeccable timing. It's hard, it's violent, it's dirty, but you won't put it down." (AudioFile)
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Best Thriller of 2017, so far
New York Blue
There were a lot! No spoilers.
Amazing performance, more below
All Denny Malone ever wanted to be was a good cop
Bestselling and award winning author Don Winslow is without a doubt one of the best thriller writers out there. I listened to many of his books, including The Cartel, The Power of the Dog, California Fire and Life, Savages and The Dawn Patrol. I am always blown away by the way he writes, by the characters and by the awesome stories he tells… When I found out that he will release a new book, called The Force, this June, I pressed the Pre Order button on Audible with no hesitation, because I knew it will be another great narrative experience.
Well, I finished The Force yesterday and took a day to think about it, to let it settle, to see if my enthusiasm will ebb away, but no, I am as hyped now as I was when the last words in The Force left me hurting and wanting more… More of Don Winslow, more of Dian Graham, more Denny Malone and more of that dark, beautiful New York.
The Force opens with our main character, NYPD detective sergeant Denny Malone in federal custody, tagged as a dirty cop, a disgrace to his fellow officers and most of all to himself. How could a highly decorated, policeman go that low? What happened to his oath, to his principles, to his life?
All that Denny Malone ever wanted was to be a good cop, but now he has to find a way to redeem his sins, to make something good after all the bad he did in his 16 years on the job. He was part of The Force, the most renowned and celebrated task force in the NYPD! Denny and his team were like brothers, more than family, they were heroes, they were kings among men, and they are all in big trouble now.
All that I’ve written above you’ll find out in the first couple of minutes with The Force and I felt it necessary to put it in here, in order to give you an idea of what this book is about and how it starts. From this point on we will take a trip down memory lane, we get to know Denny, exactly the way he is. With his problems, with his thoughts and with his good heart!
Like I did with The Sopranos and with The Godfather, I find myself rooting for Denny, although he was not a role model in any way. I mentioned one excellent movie and one amazing tv series above, those are cult classics now, but I think that The Force has tremendous chance to become a fantastic mini series if it’s picked up by HBO, Netflix or other big company! They have their work cut out for them, the story is thrilling, unpredictable and just when you think that it’s over it kicks you in the face with a steel towed cop boot!
The characters feel real, lifelike in their humanity, in their faults and flaws. This is a dark book, the sad story of a good cop doing bad things, the story of a corrupt New York administration… There are drugs, addicts, weapons, parties, hilariously funny jokes, deeply dramatic stories, call girls, crimes, executions, chases, gun fights filled by adrenaline, bribes, tap wires, indictments, cops, feds, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, bangers, mobsters, riots brought on by agony and hope!
Dion Graham, a talented actor from The Wire, Law and Order and Madame Secretary delivers a stunning, spellbinding performance bringing the city of New York and his citizens to life in the audiobook version of The Force. Dion switches with ease between voices and accents, from whitemale, to afro American female and to little latino kids. He takes us from New Jersey to Harlem and to the Bronx. He is a whirlwind as he reads, he acts, he lives The Force with his entire being! He does cops, wise guys, drug dealers, ”brothers”, latinos, snitches and flirty ladies, delighting the listener with such a huge variety and creating complete immersion from the first word to the last!
This was my first experience with Dion Graham as a narrator, but he became an instant favorite and I’ll look for more audiobooks performed by him. For The Force he is the perfect choice and I had an amazing time listening!
The Force is, for me at least, the best book of 2017 and I’m sure that although there are a lot of new releases left, I’ll be hard pressed to find a better one in the upcoming months! If you like Don Winslow, you’ll love what he did with The Force! I really hope it will be made into some great movie!
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- Victor @ theAudiobookBlog
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