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A gripping debut work of crime fiction, from the author of the bestselling memoir about life as a New York City cop, Blue Blood. (“May be the best account ever written of life behind the badge.” —Time)
In Red on Red, Edward Conlon tells the electrifying and suspenseful story of two NYPD detectives, Meehan and Esposito: one damaged and introspective, the other ambitious and unscrupulous. Meehan is compelled by haunting and elusive stories that defy easy resolution, while Esposito is drawn to cases of rough and ordinary combat. A fierce and unlikely friendship develops between them and plays out against a tangle of mysteries: a lonely immigrant who hangs herself in Inwood Hill Park, a serial rapist preying on upper Manhattan, a troubled Catholic schoolgirl who appears in the wrong place with uncanny regularity, and a savage gang war that erupts over a case of mistaken identity.
A literary thriller about the twisted dynamic of a successful police partnership—the tests of loyalty, the necessary betrayals, the intersections of life and work—Red on Red tells an unrelenting and exciting story that captures the grittiness, complexity, ironies, and compromises of life on the job.
Author Edward Conon on Red on Red
When a detective writes a detective novel, one question is inevitable: "How true is this book?" Nothing in Red on Red couldn't have happened, I think, and much did, in one form or another. Parts of the story are a few shades, a few twists removed from events that happened to me, or to cops I know. I don't know if I'm giving away too much by saying that incidents regarding blizzards, bloodhounds, and inappropriate applications of plastic food wrap did not come to me in a dream. Other plot twists represent "what-if's" of wish fulfillment or worst-case scenarios from life on The Job, as we call it, and certain lines of dialogue are remarks that I really wished I'd said at the time.
The question behind the question is whether to believe it. Though I'm tempted to compare the reader to a juror, even a famously cynical Bronx juror, I think the closer parallel is in a cop's relations with an informant. You come across a storyteller who takes you inside a world you want to know about, but you don't know if what you hear is gossip, gospel, or an outright lie. Even if you find your informant credible when he says that Joe No-Neck has a kilo of cocaine and an AK-47 in his closet, you won't know if Joe skipped town the night before or is babysitting his nieces or a pack of angry pit bulls until you knock down his door. It isn't a matter of whether you'll be surprised, but how. An informant figures significantly in Red on Red.The heart of the novel is the relationship between two detectives, Meehan and his partner Esposito. Meehan is pensive and guarded, burdened by familial failures, and Esposito is a tornado of reckless vitality. One is a bull, the other a china shop. These men come to work each day with very different motivations and limitations, baggage and gifts. Who they are is not supposed to matter as much as what they have to do--investigate crimes--but it always does, somehow. What fascinates me is how people change each other, intentionally or otherwise, through inspiration, generosity, loyalty, or betrayal. That is the true mystery that drew me to write this book, and I won't pretend to have solved it.
Title: Red on Red
Publisher: Books On Tape
Binding: Audio CD
Book Condition: Fair
Book Description Books on Tape, 2011. Audio CD. Book Condition: Good. 14 AUDIO CDs withdrawn from the library collection. We will polish each CD for a clear listening experience. Some library shelf wear. You will receive a worthwhile set. Enjoy this reliable Audio CD performance. Audio Book. Bookseller Inventory # 14J1Auerbach062