'The Force' review: Don Winslow shifts to New York for gritty, visceral tale of dirty cops

Friday, 23 June 2017, 04:45:55 AM. Winslow takes well-worn themes like police corruption and true-crime exposes and bends them to his considerable will to come up with something fresh.
They rip off drug dealers, sell dope and hide evidence. They take bribes, commit perjury and sell justice. They extort, threaten and assault. They snort, pop, screw, cheat and kill. They also pull dead babies from trashcans, lift scalded children from boiling tubs and find families hacked to death with machetes. They kick in doors, confront lunatics and render aid. They chase, shoot, and arrest. They scream, cry, bleed and die. They are the wavering blue line of “The Force,” an elite NYPD unit at the center of Don Winslow’s searing portrayal of cops trying to protect and serve themselves in a world where nothing is black and white. Sorry. There’s no good or bad here. You want your heroes uncompromised, unsullied? You like your narrative with little slices of truth, justice and the American way? Walk on by. Winslow dispenses truth in bucketfuls of gritty realism. Justice is a bedtime story for rookies. And the American way is greed. The Force lives by a code with one cynical rule that nobody honors: You never rat, don’t sell out your brothers. Until you do. Don Winslow (Photo: Michael Lionstar) The keeper of the code is Detective First Grade Denny Malone, second-generation hero cop, the King of Manhattan North. He is the “Blue Knight” of this post 9-11 Joseph Wambaugh deconstruction. If Bumper Morgan is the finest fictional cop to walk the beat, Malone is his opposite. An anti-Morgan with sleeve tats, a penchant for rap music and a Harlem mistress hooked on smack....Read more
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