Picks and Pans Review: Line of Duty
This is an intense, well-paced first novel by a retired 23-year New York City police veteran.
Grant's gritty story begins simply enough, with the shooting death of Tiny Leonard, a Harlem drug dealer. On the surface, the case appears to be routine.
Then Lt. Brian Shannon, investigating the case, discovers a link between Tiny's death and two seemingly unrelated murders. Shannon's suspicion is further fueled when those murders lead him to Patrick Stone, an untouchable young cop who so far has risen like a Saturn rocket through the ranks.
It is at this point that Line of Duty veers from standard book-'em-or-bag-'em variety thriller into the gray areas of corruption, deception and moral uncertainty. The search for a killer now shares Grant's—and the reader's—attention with a question cops dread: Who among their own is not to be trusted?
Few cop novels turn out as well as Line of Duty. Fewer first novels of any kind are as entertaining. Grant, the latest invader to territory that has long been ruled by Joseph Wambaugh, makes his first literary collar an impressive one. (Doubleday, $20)