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Red on Red: A Novel by Edward Conlon
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Red on Red: A Novel (2011)

by Edward Conlon

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This book has much more to it than one would think at the start. Detectives Meehan and Esposito are unlikely partners, but that added to the interest level. Plus Meehan has been recruited by Internal Affairs to spy on Espo. Many layers and levels of emotion and detection are contained in the book. In fact I started it as a free loan on my Kindle, but didn't read it soon enough, so I had to check out the paper copy from my library to finish it. ( )
  terran | Feb 22, 2013 |
'Red on Red' is a gritty, introspective mystery that takes readers into the mind of detective Nick Meehan and his partner, detective Esposito, whom the Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) has recruited Meehan to keep an eye on. I found it slow to get into but ultimately quite rewarding, with a few points of note that make it a departure from other mysteries I've read.

First of all, unlike most books in the genre, there isn't really one central mystery that the detectives devote all their time to solving, but several different ones, some of which turn out connected and some of which don't. It's interesting to follow the pair as they shift from case to case even in the course of a single day.

Secondly, the book devotes a lot of time to Meehan's thought processes and emotional challenges. Between his relationship with his estranged wife, his guilt over his IAB betrayal of his partner, and assorted other hangups, he's got a lot going on, and it takes his toll on him as the novel progresses. It's not so simple as snapping, so much as his mental state gets worn down. It feels very real.

Other little details, like office banter between the various detectives, feels genuine as well and adds charm to the story. Conlon's a former detective himself; it's interesting to imagine a similar camaraderie may actually exist in various departments.

Conlon's extensive time in New York comes through in his descriptions of the various neighborhoods. New York's as much a character in the book as Meehan or Esposito. As someone who's lived near New York all my life, I found it charming, but I expect the extensive descriptions might bore those less invested.

The only thing that bothered me was one of the characters switched from dubious to outright illegal behavior. I wasn't sure I really bought he'd actually cross that line.

Still, overall it was a great read - a different sort of mystery, with a very human feel. ( )
  Queensowntalia | Jun 9, 2012 |
read 150 pages. started interesting -- dark humor -- but then it diverged into too much self-reflection, mundane observations and nitty-gritty details. It wasn't poorly written and maybe one day I will return to it, when I feel like delving into a tale ladened with minutia. ( )
1 vote magnumpigg | Mar 6, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A great read for anyone interested on real police work in New York or anywhere I imagine. The procedural cop and the mke it happen cop are partners and an intersting match of principals are on going.
Anyone who likes true crime will find this a hardy meal. ( )
  SallyRose | Sep 20, 2011 |
An exceptional novel that surprised with the richness of its language and character development. Nick and "Espo" are fully developed personalities that you hate to leave when the book ends. The inner workings of the detective division in NYC, and of details of the people, culture and geography of upper NYC add to this truly interesting and captivity story. ( )
  CarterPJ | Aug 27, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edward Conlonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Chronicles the lives of NYPD detectives Meehan and Esposito. Despite their opposite styles, they strike an unlikely friendship as they investigate a suspicious suicide in Inwood Hill Park, a serial rapist in Manhattan, and a gang war that has rocked the streets.
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NYPD detectives Meehan and Esposito have very different personalities, but their friendship develops as they investigate a variety of mysteries, including a lonely immigrant who hangs herself in Inwood Hill Park, a serial rapist in upper Manhattan, a troubled Catholic schoolgirl who constantly ends up in the wrong place, and a ruthless gang war.… (more)

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