My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Don Winslow is a very good writer. If you've read some of his other books, such as The Power of the Dog, you know that already. You also know that his writing can be of the not-for-the-squeamish variety. He doesn't sugar-coat things, and he isn't shy about showing some very brutal scenes. That's not to say he does so gratuitously. When he does so, it fits with both the story and the apparent reality in some of the terrible settings he's dealing with.
With that preface, I can say that The Force is the kind of book you don't want to put down, and you're sorry when it ends. I stayed up way too late last night (or rather, early this morning) before finally coming to my senses and putting it down, and I took the first opportunity this evening to finish reading this well-written, engrossing tale.
Denny Malone is someone we can condemn for his corruption and brutality while admiring how he's trying to protect the people in his area. He really hates how the drug dealers, violent criminals, and those who profit from them, hurt people who otherwise are just trying to get by and live their lives. But Denny also can't resist the pull of corruption all around him. He and his brother officers are very damaged characters, being both part of the solution and part of the problem.
Don Winslow's writing is so good that you find yourself rooting for Denny and his guys, even when you know they don't deserve to catch a break because they're so far over the line. A good author can take you there.
If you're looking for an uplifting novel that will renew your faith in humanity, this isn't it. Go find something else. But if you want a compelling story of law enforcement, good guys versus bad guys, and lost souls who long ago wandered off the straight and narrow, so that "good guys" and "bad guys" will be hard to define, I suspect you'll love this book!
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