The Force

The Force

A Novel

eBook - 2017
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Instant New York Times Bestseller

Best of 2017 - included on best-of lists by the New York Times, NPR, Barnes & Noble, Publisher's Weekly, LitHub, BookPage, Booklist,, the Financial Times (UK) and the Daily Mail (UK)

"The Force is mesmerizing, a triumph. Think The Godfather, only with cops. It's that good."
Stephen King

The acclaimed, award-winning, bestselling author of The Cartel—voted one of the Best Books of the Year by more than sixty publications, including the New York Times—makes his William Morrow debut with a cinematic epic as explosive, powerful, and unforgettable as Mystic River and The Wire.

Our ends know our beginnings, but the reverse isn't true . . .

All Denny Malone wants is to be a good cop.

He is "the King of Manhattan North," a, highly decorated NYPD detective sergeant and the real leader of "Da Force." Malone and his crew are the smartest, the toughest, the quickest, the bravest, and the baddest, an elite special unit given unrestricted authority to wage war on gangs, drugs and guns. Every day and every night for the eighteen years he's spent on the Job, Malone has served on the front lines, witnessing the hurt, the dead, the victims, the perps. He's done whatever it takes to serve and protect in a city built by ambition and corruption, where no one is clean—including Malone himself.

What only a few know is that Denny Malone is dirty: he and his partners have stolen millions of dollars in drugs and cash in the wake of the biggest heroin bust in the city's history. Now Malone is caught in a trap and being squeezed by the Feds, and he must walk the thin line between betraying his brothers and partners, the Job, his family, and the woman he loves, trying to survive, body and soul, while the city teeters on the brink of a racial conflagration that could destroy them all.

Based on years of research inside the NYPD, this is the great cop novel of our time and a book only Don Winslow could write: a haunting and heartbreaking story of greed and violence, inequality and race, crime and injustice, retribution and redemption that reveals the seemingly insurmountable tensions between the police and the diverse citizens they serve. A searing portrait of a city and a courageous, heroic, and deeply flawed man who stands at the edge of its abyss, The Force is a masterpiece of urban living full of shocking and surprising twists, leavened by flashes of dark humor, a morally complex and utterly riveting dissection of modern American society and the controversial issues confronting and dividing us today.

Publisher: HarperCollins


From the critics

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Jun 02, 2019

Written in the police detective noir style, this book is set in today’s New York City. The author’s use of place description takes me there to the tough gritty streets of the boroughs the main character polices. His characters seem realistic with noir-esque phrasing that is fresh and amusing. There are multiple story line vignettes occurring simultaneously with unexpected plot twists which keep the listener intently tuned in.

The reader, Dion Graham, infuses energy and urgency through his rough voice texture and New York accent. As a listener you feel like you’re right there in the main character’s head, experiencing events as he does. Well done by the author and the reader.

This is book is a treat for police detective noir fans – of which I am one! There are some mature story lines and language but they are very fitting for the story told. Very satisfying ending, unexpected and very fitting.

Apr 11, 2018

I was hoping for an experience like my favorite binge watchable shows give me and The Force delivered. I see in the notes the film rights have been optioned - casting Denny Malone is going to be difficult.

Nov 29, 2017

found this very dificult to wade tru but I hardly ever don't finish a book I start

Oct 26, 2017

I'd heard so much buzz about this one but in the end, it falls firmly onto my "ok" shelf. Maybe it's a matter of personal preference. I was expecting a gritty cop drama. That's part of it & the author clearly has encyclopedic knowledge of the city, its gangsters, the NYPD & a plethora of locations.
The problem is all that history slows the pace to a crawl & the sheer volume leaves little room for the reader to spend time with & become invested in the characters. Yes, there is a lot of violence but it serves the story so that wasn't an issue for me. It's just that I was looking forward to gripping suspense/police procedural & instead felt like I spent most of my time reading a non-fiction account of the history of crime in New York.

Oct 21, 2017

I found this book pointlessly dark, and began to skim-read, sticking with it because I was curious how the plot was resolved. If this is dramatized, there will be a lot of yelling and agonized scenery-chewing. (As another reviewer pointed out, this book is very similar to "The Shield.") About 20% of the writing is some kind of cursing, some pretty creative, in case anyone is looking for that.

Sep 18, 2017

I tried, but no way could I finish. The story and characters didn't seem to have any meat - maybe this was supposed to be some kind of satire? Anyway, it just wasn't my cup of tea but in my opinion was all that well written either. From the other reviews it seems that I'm not alone and that this might be an author I will skip.

Sep 18, 2017

The Shield relocated to NYC with location references for authenticity.

Sep 06, 2017

This is the first Winslow book I have read. Each chapter tried to outdo the previous one in demonstrating how corrupt the entire NYPD and political machine is in NYC. Finished book but very disappointed in entire reading experience. Hard to convince myself to read any of his other books.

Aug 28, 2017

When Winslow is on point, The Force moves quickly and powerfully through crisp dialogue, tight plotting, and a compelling representation of one man's devolution from idealist through pragmatist through to corrupt, misanthropic cynic.
But at the same time, his propensity for overwriting is just too much for this novel. From the early pages of cliche-heavy, trying-to-hard internal monologue, to the final chapters which are so overwritten and heavy-handed that they leave the reader with a sour taste.

Aug 20, 2017

Returned, did not finish. Too much repetition from chapter to chapter. Could not get interested. Very disappointed with the book as The Cartel was a great book.

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