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Blue Blood Paperback – Unabridged, April 5, 2005
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"[A] sprawling, wry, opinionated, beautifully written memoir." - The New York Times
"He illuminates every aspect of police work with wisdom and wry humour...Blue Blood is a memoir that casts back to the earliest days of New York’s police. It is also a family history, written with love and esteem..." -The Telegraph
"A sprawling, loose-limbed collection of funny and harrowing on-the-clock anecdotes, broken up by numerous digressions into family and institutional history..." - AV Club
About the Author
Edward Conlon is a detective with the NYPD. A graduate of Harvard, he has published columns in The New Yorker under the byline Marcus Laffey.
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Mr. Conlon has a nice writing style and does a very good job describing the cop beat in the South Bronx, the insular police culture and nonsensical bureaucracy, ghetto life, race and crime, juries, the media, and demagogues such as Al Sharpton. A variety of historical trivia about New York's police department as well as his family's law enforcement background are sprinkled throughout the thing. Also, the book was published in 2004, so naturally, the author talks about his actions during 9/11. His descriptions of the many cops sifting through the World Trade Center debris for months after the incident is surreal, disturbing, and highly admirable. It's hard for me to imagine any New York police officers being able to have normal family lives. The Job is not for sissies. That's for sure.
The author does not sugarcoat anything in his memoir. Mr. Conlon has a great deal of empathy for the citizens especially people on hard times, but does not shy away in dehumanizing certain criminals and police informants if they can help him in the pursuit of justice. Rarely are situations resolved in an orderly manner and, many times, guilty people do not pay for their crimes based upon a variety of conditions. I learned a great deal about an urban cop's demanding noble job. The memoir does have funny moments, but mostly I felt depressed at the tidal wave of drugs they cannot stem and the sheer hopelessness of ghetto life for minorities. There are a few sections where my eyes would start to glaze over when he described certain police officers' career movements through the ranks, but they are infrequent distractions from an overall well-done work. 'Blue Blood' also made me happier than a pig at a pastry factory to be living in Maine instead of New York City.