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Comment: Very Good used copy: Some light wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins. Text is clean and legible. Possible clean ex-library copy with their stickers and or stamps.
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The Son of John Devlin Paperback – January 3, 1995


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An old man who has lost his daughter in a fire because of crooked cops on the take is talking in his shabby apartment to a policeman investigating the case:
There was a smell of something burning, and O'Connor went and flipped open a toaster oven and pulled out a charred English muffin with melted cheese. He plucked it with a fork and held it for a moment as though wondering what to do with it. Suddenly, he flung it hard in the direction of the sink, but it was too high, struck a coffee mug and knocked it against the wall, breaking the handle. O'Connor turned red with rage and faced Jack. "God knows what happened," he said. "God knows the truth."
That combination of rage, frustration, and faith fuel this stunning thriller by Boston journalist Charles Kenney, whose first novel (the memorable Code of Vengeance, now in paperback) marked him as one of the best new writers on the scene. Jack Devlin, a Harvard law school graduate, has joined the Boston police department as a detective, mostly to probe the mystery of why his father--an honored and much-loved officer--killed himself when Jack was a boy after being accused of bribery. Jack finds evidence that suggests the elder Devlin was innocent. At a church mass for fallen police, at which his father's name is never mentioned or listed, Jack prays "for his father, whom he had loved so dearly. Then hated so desperately. Then loved so dearly, yet again."

Kenney has the rare blessing of compassion for all of his characters, the fallen and failed as well as those seeking the truth. When Jack Devlin takes advantage of the love of a worthy woman to help clear his father's name, we fear for the relationship but also trust that whatever the author decides will be right for the resolution of this immensely moving story. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Deception, greed and betrayal drive this well-plotted, moving thriller. Rough-edged but appealing Jack Devlin, a Harvard Law grad who's now a detective with the Boston police, has been assigned to covertly investigate suspected corruption in the BPD ranks. Devlin knows about dirty cops?his father killed himself when he was accused of bribery, a disgrace his son has never lived down. In fact, the influence of the past permeates and corrodes the events at the heart of this stunning story. For a while, Devlin's investigation seems linked with Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Lawrence's probe of a giant morphine deal involving a former state legislator, and Devlin plays a dicey double game with Lawrence as he falls in love with her bold, canny beauty. But when Devlin finds a letter his father wrote just before his suicide, his anger, shame and devotion set him on a parallel investigation?to uncover the truth behind his father's dishonorable death. All investigations, the corrupt and courageous, converge in the powerful ending, in which readers understand that nothing is as it has seemed. Filled with tough, poignant portraits, disappearing evidence, suspenseful stakeouts and unexpected plot twists, Kenney's (Code of Vengeance) thriller is also distinguished by the author's compassion for his characters.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (January 3, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345482212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345482211
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,977,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Witte on January 6, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
THE SON OF JOHN DEVLIN is a highly accomplished, character-driven novel that deals with corruption within the Boston Police Department.
Charles Kenney offers up an insightful police procedural that is at once tough and gritty, yet compassionate. It's rare that a writer of this genre can pull this off convincingly, but Kenney certainly does.
With its themes of father-son love, betrayal and redemption, THE SON OF JOHN DEVLIN is a satisfying read on many levels, a true page-turner in every sense of the word.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Over two decades have passed since the John Devlin scandal rocked the Boston police department. John killed himself rather than face the shame of a trial. John's son Jack never recovered from the dishonor to the family name. Jack gave up law school to become a cop and regain what his father apparently threw away.
Jack is working on an investigation that brings him into the orbit of US Assistant Attorney Emily Lawrence's inquiries into a drug deal. Jack uncovers a letter written by his father just before his death. The note stirs Jack's wrath, making him obsessed with the need to learn what really happened to his sire while enacting his own personal code of vengeance.
THE SON OF JOHN DEVLIN is more than a brilliant police procedural, which it happens to be. A son's love for a disgraced father drives the novel's story line in such a way that fans of the sub-genre will beg for more works from awesome Charles Kenney. The plot is fantastic, raising the bar for police procedurals to an uncanny level. However, it is the characters that set this story apart from the norm and make for a fine reading regardless of genre attachment.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By fjmcmm on April 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in less than two days. I love a story of revelations and redemption and this one deals with it well, showcasing the power of love between a father and his son. This book also shows you that you can right a good police procedural without a lot of graphic violence and sex. Great job Mr Kenney. I'd love to read more stories involving Jack Devlin. I highly recommend this book.
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