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Superbia (A Det. Frank O'Ryan Story) [Kindle Edition]

Bernard Schaffer
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Most Dangerous Police Book Ever Written... 
After Frank O'Ryan gets shot, his first assignment is working with the most disliked man in his police department, Detective Vic Ajax. Ajax isn't like the other cops. He doesn't like them and they don't like him. He hunts drug dealers and pedophiles. 
Now, Frank will enter a world where being real police means laying so much of your soul on the line, you might not make it out. But as Vic explains, if it keeps a little girl from having to testify about what some monster did to her, it's worth it. 
Together, they'll resort to any means necessary to take down the scumbags, even if it means employing the interrogative services of a man in a six-foot bunny costume called The Truth Rabbit.
Readers the world over have called Superbia's author the 21st Century Ed McBain novel and the successor to Joseph Wambaugh. Both a best-selling author and career police officer, Bernard Schaffer's experience in patrol, narcotics, and investigations has filled the pages with a degree of accuracy and bold, raw, truth that cannot be found in any other work of literature. Often compared to The Wire, the Superbia books have been called the "Most subversive" account of law enforcement since Serpico.

Editorial Reviews


"Ed McBain for the 21st Century." Matt Posner, author of School of the Ages
"The most subversive police book written since Serpico!" reader review,
"Step to the side, Joseph Wambaugh." 5-Star Review
"Books like this make me glad to be an insomniac." - Reader review, Amazon
"After reading that Bernard was the 'McBain of the 21st Century' I had to give this one a go.  I am glad that I did." - Reader review, Amazon
"Schaffer is the very best independent author I have ever read...with Superbia, Schaffer has taken his game to an entirely new level." David Hulegaard,

From the Author

A Dangerous Author
A Conversation with Bernard Schaffer about Superbia
Q: How does the Superbia series differ from all the other books written by police officers that claim to give an insider's perspective and show "how things really are" on the streets?
A: I never intended to write about police work. I was a published author years before the Superbia series began, and I'll be a published author long after it ends. I think a lot of the books you are referring to are written by cops who accumulate years and years of good stories and finally come out with their one big book. You don't see much from them aside from that. I'm a writer who happens to also be employed in law enforcement. This is just one genre I write in. That's the difference.
Q: How close to the truth is the book?
A: It's a fictional story informed by a lifetime of police work. I grew up in a police household, surrounded by cops. When I wrote the first Superbia, I'd been on the job fifteen years and worked everything from patrol to detectives to narcotics. I've seen every inch of every single place and event you read about in the Superbia books and I know exactly what I'm talking about. The characters are made up. The situations that occur are made up. Everything they do and say is real and can happen anywhere in America, at any given moment.
Q: Authenticity. That's the word that comes to mind when you describe Superbia.
A: Absolute authenticity. This isn't some book I spent a few months researching. This is how things really happen and I know that because I've lived it. It's not always pretty and it's often quite ugly and scary, but someone needs to tell the truth. We've been culturally inundated with ridiculous crime scene shows and make-believe. Come take a walk with me, I'll show you how it all goes down.
Q: There's an underlying tone of subversion and resistance to authority in the books, particularly by the main character, Frank. Isn't that a little unusual for a character who represents law and order?
A: Frank doesn't represent law and order. He represents justice. There's a big difference. If he'd just keep his mouth shut and go with the program, he'd have an easy life, but it's just not in his nature. He's one of those insane people who believes in doing what's right, even when it's clearly going to cost him heavily.
Q: And if I were a psychologist, I'd say...
A: Other people have made the connection, believe me. Listen, I don't serve The System, and I don't trust The System. I serve people. That's who I believe in and that's who I care about. I remember I once interviewed for a job at my father's police department and they asked me what kind of people I admired. I said, "Revolutionaries."
They took offense to that and I didn't get the job. That was their mistake and also their misunderstanding. Without revolutionaries, we'd all still be subjects of the British Empire. Without revolutionaries there would be no Christian religion, no Protestant religion, no Civil Rights, no Women's Rights and no organized labor. The only people afraid of what I have to say are the fat cats feeding off The System. And I say, good. 
Q: So is Frank O'Ryan your alter-ego?
A: We're not the same person, but we share a common set of values and sensibilities. If you want somebody to evict a family on a cold winter night, you've got the wrong guy. If somebody does something horrible to your loved ones, there's no better person to call. That kind of thing.
Q: It appears that the Superbia series is expanding in the near future.
A: It definitely is. I've got two projects lined up with J.A. Konrath that incorporate his Jack Daniels characters with mine, and I have several other things in the works that will keep the series growing steadily. Frank O'Ryan's story is just the beginning.  

Product Details

  • File Size: 1926 KB
  • Print Length: 199 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Apiary Society Publications (December 11, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00701D9LO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,728 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest. I swear to, seriously. January 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I grew up in a cop family. I was one of those little kids sitting at the dinner table begging to hear stories about the bad guys daddy caught and who would yell "Bye! Please be safe!" everytime he would leave for the station. Superbia lifts the veil why my father never really shared that many stories, and why he would stop me and reply "Don't say bye, say see ya later!". It also explained a lot of things for me too. Yes, Superbia gave me a new appreciation (and sadness) about what cops deal with but it was also a REALLY hard read for me. Because it hit too close to home, because I could picture it too clearly and also because now as an adult, I still have family on the force. Thank god for the cop humor in it (which I always thought was so dark, sick and twisted in a hysterical way). If it wasnt for the belly laughs they provided, I dont know what state I'd be in! This book itself IS the Truth Rabbit. Reading it beat out of me all of these emotions that I couldnt swallow down until I finished and had time to process. Which means, I didn't stop until I did just that. I did a 4 hours straight through read on my tiny a*s iphone kindle app screen. It was THAT MAJOR of a novel.Immediately afterwards, I did two things. Rub my eyes, and call my dad to say "hi". Thank you for writing this book and thank you for working to get the bad guys B. Please stay safe.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Read in Ages January 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
There are so many things that I want to say about this book, but I truly believe that the best way to experience it is to go into it cold. That's the way I experienced it. From being a fan of the author, I knew roughly what it was about, but when I began to read, it could not have been any further from my initial expectation.

Hands down, Schaffer is the very best independent author I have ever read. I buy his books with confidence knowing that I'm going to get a quality read. With Superbia, Schaffer has taken his game to an entirely new level. It's obvious from the first pages of the book that he is very close to the subject matter, and that he's speaking straight from the heart. He presents the reader with an opportunity to peek behind the curtain of real police work. It's gritty and hard to stomach at parts, but when it's over, I can close the book. I can't even imagine what it's like to face that kind of evil every day.

You have probably read a police procedural or detective story before. You have never read one like this. Schaffer's story is dark, intelligent, eye-opening, and if you can believe it, funny. Superbia is somehow both the most somber and hilarious book Schaffer has ever written. I've already read it twice and I'm ready to go back again.

I have read all of this author's books, and Superbia is my new favorite by a wide margin. If I had to offer any criticism at all, it's that I have no idea how he's going to top it, but I can't wait to watch him try.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ed McBain for the 21st Century January 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am associated with Bernard Schaffer as a member of Kindle All-Stars group, but I purchased the book on my own because I was interested in it and I am only writing my genuine feelings.

I began reading this book at the start of my lunch break in the middle of work today. I did absolutely nothing else until I had finished it two hours later. It is a rare book that compels me to such rapt attention. Superbia recalled for me one really interesting police procedural novel I read years ago by Ed McBain -- and I think this book is every bit as interesting and even more raw. Superbia could be called Ed McBain for the 21st century. This book also reminds me of some other classic police dramas, including the tv series Homicide: Life on the Street or NYPD Blue, or the movies Copland and Dirty Harry, and I am sure that I would be comparing it to The Wire, except that I haven't seen The Wire (my bad).

The conceit of Superbia is that all the characters have surnames based on Greek mythology. It might be best for me not to explain how the mythology is relevant to each of the characters, but clearly Bernard planned this aspect carefully, adding a strong level of allusiveness that rewards research and rereading. Most of the names are from the Iliad, many others from Ovid or Sophocles or the Homeric Hymns. Some connections are very clearly relevant, especially one which is tragically so.

Yes, I said tragic. Tragic in the sense that Sophocles is tragic, that Shakespeare's great plays are tragic -- a good person falls to ruin as a result of mistakes and bad luck. There is some rough and painful material in here. Brutality, cruelty, savage emotions, pedophilia, injustice, idiots and smooth operators in law enforcement, bad things happening to good people.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars spell binding!! February 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well. this was some book!!! I read iton my kindle in less than 24hours. I couldn't put it down. At my age of 60ish it is the BEST book I have ever read,I promise you I will read it again. supriseingly so things made just laugh out loud to myself. this book is written by the heart and soul of the very talented and gited author Bernard J. Schaffer. omg so well done. should be made itno a movie. well. buy it and LOVE IT as I did.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read! October 6, 2012
By Nurse#1
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From the moment I started to read this book, I found that I had trouble putting it down. It was sharp, clean, did not ramble,it had specific police interaction, and it gave glimpses of humor. It reminded me of Joesph Wambaugh's style and flavor, but more true to the crimes it pursued. It made me look for more books by this author. In one word...Exciting!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting. Two parts particularly
Interesting. Two parts particularly: (1) Changing suicides to nonsuicidal deaths for insurance reasons, so beneficiaries could collect, and (2) restraining orders causing suicides. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Barbara Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great mystury novel.
I like the characters and plots. The flow of the story line was great.
I feel I must read more of his works.
Published 1 month ago by Blue Streak
5.0 out of 5 stars _Superbia_ is a great read!
I thought this might be a second rate book written by some poor SOB trying to make a living at best. How wrong I was! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Another Wench
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of his stories
Published 1 month ago by lori strauss
4.0 out of 5 stars what happens next
Ok I'm riding along trying to get the jest of the story and where former partner Aprile comes into play. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Marlene
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
A very interesting tale of two detectives who are just starting out. Humor.
Published 1 month ago by Jack Darnell
4.0 out of 5 stars Grabs you by the throat and throws you down...
A rough and tumble, head-smashing, throat-grabbing novel that features two very unsympathetic detectives who are thrown together and have to make the best of a bad situation. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lyn Perry
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard hitting, really good book
I read some of the reviews before starting the book. Some of the reviews from members of the police community, and former members of same were very negative. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Linda
3.0 out of 5 stars will leave you wondering who are the good guys?
by Bernard Schaffer

Some men see psychiatrists, some take up martial arts, some lift weights or punch bags, and some write. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Garth R. Mailman
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More About the Author

Bernard Schaffer is the author of multiple books that span a wide variety of genres, including literature, police procedurals, and science fiction westerns. He has worked on several projects with famous authors such as Harlan Ellison, Alan Dean Foster, and Bill Thompson (the editor who discovered Stephen King and John Grisham).
Recently, he collaborated with J.A. Konrath on two books that feature Konrath's best-selling Lt. Jack Daniels characters and Schaffer's own Superbia series.
A lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area, he is the proud father of two children. In addition to writing and publishing, he is a decorated police veteran detective and expert witness in narcotics distribution. In the late eighties, Schaffer was a child actor who appeared on stage and screen, including starring in the Nickelodeon series, "Don't Just Sit There."

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