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When a detective writes a detective novel, one question is inevitable: "How true is this book?" Nothing in Red on Red couldn't have happened, I think, and much did, in one form or another. Parts of the story are a few shades, a few twists removed from events that happened to me, or to cops I know. I don't know if I'm giving away too much by saying that incidents regarding blizzards, bloodhounds, and inappropriate applications of plastic food wrap did not come to me in a dream. Other plot twists represent "what-if's" of wish fulfillment or worst-case scenarios from life on The Job, as we call it, and certain lines of dialogue are remarks that I really wished I'd said at the time.
The question behind the question is whether to believe it. Though I'm tempted to compare the reader to a juror, even a famously cynical Bronx juror, I think the closer parallel is in a cop's relations with an informant. You come across a storyteller who takes you inside a world you want to know about, but you don't know if what you hear is gossip, gospel, or an outright lie. Even if you find your informant credible when he says that Joe No-Neck has a kilo of cocaine and an AK-47 in his closet, you won't know if Joe skipped town the night before or is babysitting his nieces or a pack of angry pit bulls until you knock down his door. It isn't a matter of whether you'll be surprised, but how. An informant figures significantly in Red on Red.The heart of the novel is the relationship between two detectives, Meehan and his partner Esposito. Meehan is pensive and guarded, burdened by familial failures, and Esposito is a tornado of reckless vitality. One is a bull, the other a china shop. These men come to work each day with very different motivations and limitations, baggage and gifts. Who they are is not supposed to matter as much as what they have to do--investigate crimes--but it always does, somehow. What fascinates me is how people change each other, intentionally or otherwise, through inspiration, generosity, loyalty, or betrayal. That is the true mystery that drew me to write this book, and I won't pretend to have solved it.
This novel was very well written, aimed at adults and using interesting language. The plot was realistic and has lots of fun and tense twists and subplots. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Pat
What I loved about this book was the relationship between the two very different detectives.Published 5 months ago by Audrey Anderson
I found the characters compelling and gave all five stars for the writing. I'm already hunting for another book by Edward Conlon. I'm pretty sure he'll be one of my new favorites.Published 7 months ago by jan iiams
The author - a NYC police detective - turns to fiction after his memoir Blue Blood. Red On Red chronicles a day in the lives - actually about six months - of NYPD Detectives Meehan... Read morePublished 7 months ago by JoeV
Loved blue blood, liked this. HIghly realistic, multiple plot threads, some that go nowhere slowly, others reel you in. Great characters. Read morePublished 13 months ago by S. Mahon
I wasn't expecting much but the characters were so well written that I'm really going to miss Nick and Esposito . The storyline was plausible and held my attention throughout .Published 15 months ago by Mar
This was a really difficult book to get through. It got better as the story evolved but was never easy. The ending left me disappointed and wondering why I had bothered.Published 16 months ago by ChazM
Red On Red is a story about two NYPD detectives, Meehan and Esposito. There is some mystery, suspense. Edward Conlon is a cop writing about other cops. Read morePublished 17 months ago by lady g
It's not a very good crime story. It's not a very good thriller. The main characters are one dimensional. The picture it paints of NYC borders on the absurd. Just not very good.Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer