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Publisher's Summary

All Denny Malone wants is to be a good cop.

He’s 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 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.

The Force is a haunting 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, it is a masterpiece of urban realism full of shocking twists, leavened by flashes of dark humor, a morally complex and utterly riveting dissection of modern American society and the controversial issues confronting us today.

©2017 Don Winslow (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Dion Graham sounds like a native of any of the neighborhoods that make up the Manhattan North police special operations area. He does white, black, and Latino cops and Staten Island, Harlem, and Bronx accents - all so smoothly you never notice the transitions but also never lose track of the character he's voicing. The nonstop drama and violence are perfectly choreographed through his impeccable timing. It's hard, it's violent, it's dirty, but you won't put it down." (AudioFile)

What members say

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Winslow continus to amaze

This is my 6th or 7th Winslow book, and is possibly one of his best. While shorter than his other works, it's captivating, fast paced and sprinkled with enough nonfiction to make it hard to turn off.

38 of 38 people found this review helpful

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Gritty, realistic and a compelling listen

Another tour de force by Don Winslow! A crackling good story and well narrated! The story pulls you in and doesn’t let go. Made it hard to leave the car and go to the office. I'm looking forward to his next novel. I hope Audible will be able to get some of his earlier works back in the lineup.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

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If you liked The Shield ...

Simply put, a day (or month) in the life of a crooked cop who wanted to do the right thing. If Dark Blue, Training Day and the Shield sous you, you'll enjoy this.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • D. Smith
  • Winchester, VA United States
  • 11-21-17

complex and exhilarating

I loved this book and the reading of it. Graham perfectly captured the feel and grittiness of New York City. Ranks among Don Winslow's best. not for the faint of heart, though less graphic than his last book, The Cartel.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Great story and narration

Don Winslow never ceases to amaze me. Frankie Machine, The Cartel and now The Force. This is a great story. And perfectly narrated by Dion Graham. Highly recommended.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 06-24-17

The Fire THIS Time

This would have probaly just been another very good cop thriller without Don Winslow's race nuance (sometimes clunky, sometimes heavy-handed) and the novel's final act. Overall, 'The Force' is not as good as his Cartel series (The Power of the Dog, The Cartel), but in my opinion better than Savages. I'll detail this a bit later, but Winslow doesn't pull many punches when dealing with drug dealers, dirty cops, dirty politicos, etc. He really does get some major props from jumping right into the Black Lives Matter, Blue-on-Black dynamics. The novel's characters are arranged in such a way that the issues of Ferguson, NYC, Baltimore, LA, etc., are inescapable from the novel's narrative. You can't really tell a story about NYC cops and corruption and NOT step into issues of race. Winslow doesn't flinch.

He is also a helluva story teller and a decent, nice guy. I met him a couple weeks ago at a lecture and book signing and his reputation for being kind to his fans was evident. The publicity grind (books signings, lecturs, readings, etc) that all writers do more or less appears to be mostly grind, but Winslow was cheerful, funny, kind, patient, and carries a natural gift for engaging people and a real curiosity about humanity. In his work it is obvious that he is seeking first a good story, but he is also very interested in people. He doesn't give a shit if it cop or criminal, he likes finding the bends, the cracks, and the dark corners.

I did get to ask him a questions: "Which contemporary writers intimidate you? Make you feel like hanging it up? Question why you even write because they are THAT good?"

Winslow's answer:

1. Dennis Lehane
2. Richard Russo
3. Jim Harrison, RIP

67 of 73 people found this review helpful

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Wow it blew me away with the realism & story

Would you listen to The Force again? Why?

Yes , because it draws you in full force and it's really hard to catch your breath . Great story ,characters and the narrator "Dion Graham " was a good as the best out there . Great cop story and very intense . Not for the weak of heart ! Action and more action.

What did you like best about this story?

Strong Characters and solid story line , you felt that you were in the action all of the time

Have you listened to any of Dion Graham’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I haven't ,but he is about to become one of my favorites .Up there with Dick Hill

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The last couple of chapters were very moving.

Any additional comments?

This is not a kids or young adult, language and adult situations

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Best of the best

I don’t usually write reviews – however this book and this performance deserve it. I’ve always liked the Winslow books but I have to say this seemed like the very best. It’s great on so many levels. And the performance is unbelievable!

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Like Training Day x 20

Classic Don Winslow. A bit more moralistic than The Power of the Fog and the Cartel, but just as intense. The characters are full fledged and believable, mostly. As in his other books, he does have a problem in fleshing out his female characters.

The narrator was very good. I do believe that he is a native New Yorker as he is able to mimic the dozens of accents that New Yorkers display

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Best Thriller of 2017, so far

If you could sum up The Force in three words, what would they be?

New York Blue

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Force?

There were a lot! No spoilers.

What about Dion Graham’s performance did you like?

Amazing performance, more below

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

All Denny Malone ever wanted to be was a good cop

Any additional comments?

Bestselling and award winning author Don Winslow is without a doubt one of the best thriller writers out there. I listened to many of his books, including The Cartel, The Power of the Dog, California Fire and Life, Savages and The Dawn Patrol. I am always blown away by the way he writes, by the characters and by the awesome stories he tells… When I found out that he will release a new book, called The Force, this June, I pressed the Pre Order button on Audible with no hesitation, because I knew it will be another great narrative experience.

Well, I finished The Force yesterday and took a day to think about it, to let it settle, to see if my enthusiasm will ebb away, but no, I am as hyped now as I was when the last words in The Force left me hurting and wanting more… More of Don Winslow, more of Dian Graham, more Denny Malone and more of that dark, beautiful New York.

The Force opens with our main character, NYPD detective sergeant Denny Malone in federal custody, tagged as a dirty cop, a disgrace to his fellow officers and most of all to himself. How could a highly decorated, policeman go that low? What happened to his oath, to his principles, to his life?

All that Denny Malone ever wanted was to be a good cop, but now he has to find a way to redeem his sins, to make something good after all the bad he did in his 16 years on the job. He was part of The Force, the most renowned and celebrated task force in the NYPD! Denny and his team were like brothers, more than family, they were heroes, they were kings among men, and they are all in big trouble now.

All that I’ve written above you’ll find out in the first couple of minutes with The Force and I felt it necessary to put it in here, in order to give you an idea of what this book is about and how it starts. From this point on we will take a trip down memory lane, we get to know Denny, exactly the way he is. With his problems, with his thoughts and with his good heart!

Like I did with The Sopranos and with The Godfather, I find myself rooting for Denny, although he was not a role model in any way. I mentioned one excellent movie and one amazing tv series above, those are cult classics now, but I think that The Force has tremendous chance to become a fantastic mini series if it’s picked up by HBO, Netflix or other big company! They have their work cut out for them, the story is thrilling, unpredictable and just when you think that it’s over it kicks you in the face with a steel towed cop boot!

The characters feel real, lifelike in their humanity, in their faults and flaws. This is a dark book, the sad story of a good cop doing bad things, the story of a corrupt New York administration… There are drugs, addicts, weapons, parties, hilariously funny jokes, deeply dramatic stories, call girls, crimes, executions, chases, gun fights filled by adrenaline, bribes, tap wires, indictments, cops, feds, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, bangers, mobsters, riots brought on by agony and hope!

Dion Graham, a talented actor from The Wire, Law and Order and Madame Secretary delivers a stunning, spellbinding performance bringing the city of New York and his citizens to life in the audiobook version of The Force. Dion switches with ease between voices and accents, from whitemale, to afro American female and to little latino kids. He takes us from New Jersey to Harlem and to the Bronx. He is a whirlwind as he reads, he acts, he lives The Force with his entire being! He does cops, wise guys, drug dealers, ”brothers”, latinos, snitches and flirty ladies, delighting the listener with such a huge variety and creating complete immersion from the first word to the last!

This was my first experience with Dion Graham as a narrator, but he became an instant favorite and I’ll look for more audiobooks performed by him. For The Force he is the perfect choice and I had an amazing time listening!

The Force is, for me at least, the best book of 2017 and I’m sure that although there are a lot of new releases left, I’ll be hard pressed to find a better one in the upcoming months! If you like Don Winslow, you’ll love what he did with The Force! I really hope it will be made into some great movie!

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Thank you,

77 of 92 people found this review helpful