Enemy in Blue
by Derek Blass;
Editions: Paperback 334 pages, Ebook
Published May 2011 by Rogue Books, LLC
Source: review copy
The streets aren’t safe when your enemy wears a blue uniform and a gold badge.
What if the good guys weren’t good?
What if a cop went rogue and killed an innocent man?
What if it was all caught on video and the cop would do anything to cover it up?
– Goodreads blurb
WhoA!! Ok so as I’ve said it a few times already, I’m a big fan of detective/police related books/shows, I eat up all those documentaries on cases, solved or not yet solved, reality shows where a crew follows a team and stuff, thrillers of all sorts. I’m a fan of seeing law enforcement, well, enforce law, in a non-abusive way. It builds my trust in the notion of civilized society and it gives this sense of security, you know? I mean that’s the whole point of the “guards” in the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle concerning the ideal republic – in order for the city to work, it needs to have keepers of law and order, and these will supervise and correct other citizens that do wrong – but then who supervises the supervisors, right?
Well here we have one example of the supervisors of the greater good of the citizens going sort of against their ethic porpoise. And if you want the simpler, clearer version of my reaction to reading this novel I’ll give it to you straight up and clear: it freaked the hell out of me in a major way!
I felt everything about the novel was well to greatly done, the writing, the weaving of the plot, the characters and their personalities, all great. The ending was gutsy and daring, in my opinion, sort of positive-ish maybe (haven’t decided yet, lol) and open to sequels. I feel a sequel coming after this, totally, one because the story deserves it (hint, hint, hiiiint!), and two because this book has been received well – that generally spurs on the creative process of authors, I’d say.
My soft spot in reading, as in life I guess, is character. Man, the characters in this story blew me away! For one thing, there were several of them that I desired to personally shoot in the toe. Or in the pinky, I’d take either option if they were available, lol. Shaver was awful and I hated his guts almost as soon as I ‘met’ him, that’s a clear sign of really good writing regarding mood-setting and showing off the personality of the character. I will say that the male characters of the story felt better done (no pun intended, lol) then the female ones, but the female ones were more like side-dish anyways since the main cahoonas were dudes.
Though I liked the way they were built, and they seemed very vivid to me, I can’t say I actually liked any of the guys. There were actions I really got and sympathized with more then agreed with (like the Diego situation – I didn’t agree with his choices at all, but I got his reasoning for making them), but I didn’t walk away from this novel wishing to read more about any one particular character.
I would however like to read more about them, by large.
What this novel excelled at was eliciting my emotional involvement and getting all kinds of reaction from me. I was crushed when that punkass Shaver started doing his nasty, and I was very in tune emotionally with everything happening to Martinez and the others, without having a crush on the characters themselves – now this is a really hard trick to pull off in my case. By large my emotional involvement with a story is directly dependent on how attached I am to one or more characters in it. I really loved the fact it was one of those thrillers that kept the eye on the ball, though action got layered and it developed on some tangents, we always had the eye on the ball. I like that in a book, call me conservative, but I do. I like it to know what its identity is and for it to be really well rooted in, not bounce around on all fields.
Anyway, all in all I totally recommend this novel if you like cop-thrillers. It’s well done, it’s intense, it’s emotionally gripping, it’s awesome.