Plot: This is a mystery readers can sink their teeth into, full of intriguing layers and the perfect amount of complexity. The storyline is fast-paced and effectively holds the reader's interest throughout.
Prose/Style: The author is a skilled writer who is able to craft not only a great narrative but also organic and believable dialogue, strong action scenes, and overall an enjoyable reading experience.
Originality: This is an original work with distinctive characters and situations.
Character Development/Execution: The author has done an impressive job with character development not only with Paddy, the main character, but also with second-tier players including Paddy's wife and fellow police officers.
Date Submitted: May 25, 2021
O’Keefe is himself a retired NYPD detective, and he imbues the thriller’s investigations with a persuasive sense of authenticity, peppering each account of a crime scene with fascinating technical details. Best of all is how O'Keefe brings to life the law enforcement milieu, with enough banter, friendships, and feuds to keep procedural fans happy, though the glimpses into the backstories of the characters sometimes go on so long that they drain the tension from the main plot. Readers should be aware that the realistic scenes of sex and violence edge toward the graphic. Still, the key investigations are strong enough to keep the narrative flowing.
The strongest element is the characterization of Durr himself. In addition to his tough-guy cop persona, we see his passionate tenderness with his ailing wife. O’Keefe paints their discussions about what they believe are her last days with a pained fierceness. He also elevates Durr above the usual "tough Irish cop" stereotype in a warm and amusing subplot focusing on Durr's close friendship with a lesbian couple and their wish to have Paddy serve as their sperm donor. Durr's growth as a family man and his exploits as a shrewd detective will keep readers invested until the last page.
Takeaway: Police procedural fans will revel in the exploits of Durr and the other tough but all-too-human Brooklyn detectives.
Great for fans of: Joseph Wambaugh, Ed McBain
Design and typography: B+
Marketing copy: A-