The Force: A Novel (Mass Market)

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The Force: A Novel (Mass Market)


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“Denny Malone, veteran NYPD detective and leader of the elite Manhattan North Task Force, didn't start out as a dirty cop. Over the years, however, the odd payoff and favor became routine, and a talented and effective cop slid past the point of no return, stealing millions in money and drugs. As Winslow shows us, keeping citizens safe isn't always clean and easy work, but even Malone and his team's corruption is chump change compared to the real players behind the scenes who are busy rebuilding the city after the September 11 attacks. A gutsy and uncompromising look at the dark heartbeat of modern America.”
— Patrick Millikin (M), The Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale, AZ

Staff Reviews

This book is one of the most page-turning, gut wrenching and downright readable books about crime, police and drug dealers I've ever read.  The grit of the book practically leaves sand  in your mouth, as the life of "King of Manhattan North" - dirty cop  Denny Malone - goes from the top of the heap to a crash so low, it's almost beyond Hell.   This is not for the faint-at-heart, nor is it without its redemption, but Winslow's superb pacing, terrific characters and realism struck a chord with this reader.  I loved every minute of this unflinching look at police corruption in this hard-to-put-down book. 

— From Staff Picks by Maureen

Instant New York Times Bestseller

Best of 2017 - included on best-of lists by the New York Times, NPR, Barnes & Noble, Publisher's Weekly, LitHub, BookPage, Booklist,, the Financial Times (UK) and the Daily Mail (UK)

The Force is mesmerizing, a triumph. Think The Godfather, only with cops. It’s that good.”
   — Stephen King

The acclaimed, award-winning, bestselling author of The Cartel—voted one of the Best Books of the Year by more than sixty publications, including the New York Times—returns with a cinematic epic as explosive, powerful, and unforgettable as Mystic River and The Wire.

Our ends know our beginnings, but the reverse isn’t true . . .

All Denny Malone wants is to be a good cop.

He is “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 special 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.

Based on years of research inside the NYPD, this is the great cop novel of our time and a book only Don Winslow could write: a haunting and heartbreaking 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, The Force is a masterpiece of urban living full of shocking and surprising twists, leavened by flashes of dark humor, a morally complex and utterly riveting dissection of modern American society and the controversial issues confronting and dividing us today.


Don Winslow is the author of twenty-five acclaimed, award-winning international bestsellers, including seven New York Times bestsellers (Savages, The Kings of Cool, The Cartel, The Force, The Border, City on Fire and City of Dreams). Savages was made into a feature film by three-time Oscar-winning writer-director Oliver Stone from a screenplay by Shane Salerno, Winslow and Stone. Winslow's epic Cartel trilogy has been adapted for TV and will appear as a weekly series on FX. Additional Winslow books are currently in development at Paramount (The Winter of Frankie Machine), Netflix (Boone Daniels), Warner Brothers (Satori), Sony (City on Fire, City of Dreams, City in Ruins) and Working Title (“Crime 101”) and he has recently written a series of acclaimed and award winning short stories for Audible narrated by four-time Oscar nominee Ed Harris. A former investigator, anti-terrorist trainer and trial consultant, Winslow has announced that City in Ruins will be his final novel.

Product Details ISBN: 9780062664440
ISBN-10: 0062664441
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 28th, 2018
Pages: 624
Language: English

“Mesmerizing, a triumph. Think The Godfather, only with cops. It’s that good.” — Stephen King

“Intensely human in its tragic details, positively Shakespearean in its epic sweepprobably the best cop novel ever written.” — Lee Child

“A scorcher.” — New York Times Book Review

“Shocking authenticity is the lifeblood of Don Winslow’s The Force.  I stopped everything I was doing to read it straight through. Detective Sergeant Denny Malone takes us on a searing journey through the corruption that lies at the heart of our justice system. I wish I’d written it!” — Greg Iles, author of Mississippi Blood

“Don Winslow’s New York copy novel The Force is a scorcher, and if his sources are on the level it’s time for another Knapp Commission.” — Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

“Don Winslow’s novel The Force isn’t just one of the great New York City cop novels ever written. It is one of the great New York City novels ever written.” — Mike Lupica, New York Daily News

“Don Winslow’s summer blockbuster, The Force, is ready-made for Hollywood… A big, fat book of fast-moving fiction… Riveting and scary — in a lot of ways.” — Neely Tucker, Washington Post

 “(A) shattering New York cop epic… The pace is kept up by the Winslow way with words, which almost entirely defies being quoted here, either because of the slang (Elmore Leonard league) or because of the everyday obscenities that lace every funny line.” — Janet Maslin, New York Times

“Winslow brings incisively-researched details, gut-wrenching plotlines, and infinite heart to his all-too-real, highly compassionate tale.” — Daneet Steffens, Boston Globe

“There won’t be a better cop novel this year than The Force by Don Winslow. Not next year, or the year after that, either.”   — Linwood Barclay

“It’s one of the most daring and explosive books of summer, grabbing readers by the front of the shirt and dragging them into a world where honor and wrongdoing are mismatched partners… (It has) a sardonic, streetwise voice — like a pissed off conscience, telling a cautionary tale.” — Anthony Breznican, Entertainment Weekly

“The pressure on Malone becomes so intense it makes Henry Hill’s paranoia in “Good Fellas” look like a mild case of OCD… What makes The Force unique among police procedurals is that it’s not the story of a rogue cop with a code… but a sneakily subversive post-Ferguson thriller.” — Jim Ruland, Los Angeles Times

“A brilliant novel, rich in language, conflict, setting, and character. It resonates deeply with realism, honesty, and sheer magnetism. Fans of “The Godfather,” “Mystic River,” “The Wire,” and “The Departed” will absolutely love this book.” — Mark Rubinstein, Huffington Post

“The immersion into the world of the NYPD is so brutal and honest that it’s difficult to imagine that Winslow was never a policeman.” — Jeff Ayers, Washington Post

“Part The Godfather, part The Wire, The Force is a Molotov cocktail of cops and corruption, where good guys are also bad guys, and police malfeasance isn’t just about skimming money off drug busts—it’s about ... the corruption that comes when trying to do the right thing.” — Abigail Jones, Newsweek

“Winslow peers into the soul of modern America through the eyes of a supremely skilled and corrupt police officer, in this epic novel of devastating moral complexity.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Don Winslow’s The Force is the best book of 2017 so far, period. Did you ever read a book you had a sense was going to become a classic? That’s what Don Winslow’s had me thinking well before I flipped the last page.” — Jon Land, Providence Journal

“A page-turner that also manages to dive into deeper issues… Yet what truly sets Winslow apart, aside from his gut-punch prose and deep understanding of the criminal worlds he inhabits, is his ability to perceive the greater truth behind the guns and drugs and death.” — Stayton Bonner, Rolling Stone

“Don Winslow’s intoxicating new crime thriller, The Force is a riveting ride-along with the Manhattan North Special Task Force, an elite NYPD unit… As in The Cartel, a poignant non-fiction baseline threads through this novel, leaving readers to wonder how much of it is tragically true.” — Don Oldenburg, USA Today

“Just fantastic. Like can’t-put-it-down, can’t-get-the-voices-out-of-your-head fantastic. An instant classic, an epic, a goddamn Wagner opera… basically Game of Thrones without the dragons. The Wars of the Roses played out with New York City cops and robbers.” — Jason Sheehan, NPR

“It’s rare for a writer to produce two career-defining masterpieces back-to-back, but that’s exactly what Winslow has done.… Winslow has created what will likely become our quintessential cop novel, looking both at what cops do right and wrong with clear-eyed realism and passionate humanity.” — Booklist (starred review)

“Once every few years, a book comes along that stands head and shoulders above its genre. Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River was one; Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy... was another. Don Winslow’s The Force... is such a book.” — Bruce Tierney, BookPage

“Supercop and Everycop, Malone symbolizes the conflicts that corrode — and, Mr. Winslow suggests, often define — today’s policing. This book is about the intersection of greed and need… The Force is gripping… magisterial and raw.” — Carlo Wolff, Pittsburg Post-Gazette

“Magnificent… muscular and lyrical, free-flowing and complex, it delivers punch-in-the-guts plot twists.” — Marcel Berlines, The Times (UK)

 “Sprawling and visceral.” — Financial Times (UK)

“[Winslow’s] prose moves with the power of a locomotive and the precision of a Porsche, making hairpin turns designed to keep adrenaline junkies turning the pages.” — Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News

“If you read only one crime novel this summer, it is going to have to be “The Force” by award-winning veteran writer Don Winslow.” — C.F. Foster, Florida Times-Union

“Incendiary…. Winslow is a master at exposing how corruption and bureaucracy strangle well-intentioned law enforcement, and he doesn’t shy away from issues of race, culture, poverty and the dark economics on which a city thrives.” — Connie Ogle, Miami Herald

“The plot... shines with looks deep inside New York City, inside racial strains, inside institutional turf wars - and inside a cop’s conscience.... The best damned crime book so far this year.” — Harry Levins, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“A mashup of a hundred-dirty cop movies and true-crime exposes, reimagined and repurposed into one indelible storyline. Winslow takes these well-worn themes, bends them to his considerable will and comes up with something fresh… Heartbreakingly beautiful and unforgiving.” — Robert Anglen, Arizona Republic

“The author brings an intoxicating combination of passion, authenticity and grandeur to the crime thriller, expanding the very limits of the form… Riveting, infuriating, and ultimately deeply moving.” — Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

“Winslow spent years researching this novel, and it shows....A superb crime novel.... Exciting, entertaining and enlightening.” — Paul Davis, Washington Times

“A gut punch of a new cop thriller. . . . Once the author, a former investigator, starts tightening the screws of this by stunning drama, it has you unrelentingly in its grip.” — Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Tribune

“A piercing, profane, morally complex epic.” — John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune

“Breathtaking... Packed with detail and told with majestic prose... This is without question among the finest ever police novels.” — Geoffrey Wansell, Daily Mail (UK)

“A superlative cop thriller....The Force can be seen as a meticulously researched nonfiction book in fictional disguise: every scene adds another detail to its panoramic picture of a criminal justice system permeated by corruption, cronyism and lies.” — John Dugdale, Sunday Times (London)

“A compelling, profane, powerful saga… I can’t wait for the movie. It’s got Scorsese written all over it.” — Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail (UK)

“Riding high on the acclaim from his 2015 novel, The Cartel ... Winslow turns to the streets of New York in this dark novel about an NYPD special task force led by Denny Malone, whose brother died as a first responder on 9/11.” — Tom Beer, Newsday best summer books

 “So smoking hot that this reviewer kept imagining that the pages were blistering and that there was steam rising up from the cover… If you read just one book this summer, make it The Force.” — Vick Mickunas, Dayton Daily News

The Force is intoxicating....Winslow keeps the surprises coming and the narrative churning.... A literary coup de force.” — Tom Mayer, Mountain Times

“Caught between the desperation of the poor and the cynicism of the rich the lead character of Don Winslow’s The Force embodies the searing conflicts that define 21st century New York. The boom shrewdly suggest damnation can be a form of salvation for a man and even a city.” — Nelson George

“Nobody understands the disaster of corruption better than Don Winslow. The Force exposes the dawning horror of how it eats into the best intentions.”   — Val McDermid, #1 Bestselling Author of Out of Bounds

The Shield meets The Departed in Don Winslow’s The Force, one of the best cop dramas ever written, and the first novel we’ve ever scored a perfect 10/10 on our rating scale.” — Ryan Steck,

“Winslow’s writing, with its torrents of profane, single-sentence paragraphs, is as potent as ever.” — Michael Pucci, Library Journal

“Nobody exposes the underbelly of American society like Don Winslow – a modern master who holds up a mirror to New York policing, showing the bravery, loyalty, honour and corruption.” — Michael Robotham, Bestselling Author of Life or Death

“The Force is a Seventies-style Sydney-Lumet-directed cop story, dropped into the streets of today, that prove not to be that different, and given an epic sweep.” — MysteryPeople Pick of the Month

“Secures Winslow’s place beside the likes of Richard Price, Dennis Lehane, Daniel Woodrell, George Pelecanos, Thomas H. Cook, and James Ellroy – writers who have turned the American crime novel into major works of literature.” — Bruce DeSilva’s Rogue Island on The Force

Praise for Don Winslow: “Winslow’s drug war version of The Godfather...a big, sprawling, ultimately stunning crime tableau. . . . A magnum opus. . . . Don Winslow is to the Mexican drug wars what James Ellroy is to L.A. Noir.” — Janet Maslin, New York Times

“Winslow’s drug war version of The Godfather...a big, sprawling, ultimately stunning crime tableau...A magnum opus...Don Winslow is to the Mexican drug wars what James Ellroy is to L.A. Noir.” — Janet Maslin, New York Times on The Cartel

“A Game of Thrones of the Mexican drug wars, a multipart, intricately plotted, blood-soaked epic that tells the story of how America’s unquenchable appetite for illegal drugs has brought chaos to our southern neighbors and darkened our own political and criminal culture.” — Will Dana, Rolling Stone on The Cartel

“Clearly one of the most ambitious and most accomplished crime novels to appear in the last 15 years, THE CARTEL will likely retain that distinction even as the twenty-first century grinds on.” — Bill Ott, Booklist on The Cartel

“Hugely hypnotic new thriller...the pace and feel of an exploded documentary...a brilliant and informative work of fiction about a nightmare world that flourishes in the bright light of day.” — Alan Cheuse, NPR Books on The Cartel

“Don Winslow is one of the most durable and important voices in American crime fiction. His examinations of character and corruption turn the narco wars into a relentless, bloody opera.” — Nic Pizzolatto, Creator, Writer and Executive Producer of HBO’s True Detective on The Cartel

“Don Winslow delivers his longest and finest novel yet in THE CARTEL. This is the War and Peace of dopewar books. Tense, brutal, wildly atmospheric, stunningly plotted, deeply etched.” — James Ellroy on The Cartel

The Power of the Dog and THE CARTEL, by Don Winslow: I’m totally swept up. You can’t ask more for emotionally moving entertainment.” — Stephen King on The Cartel

“Don Winslow’s THE CARTEL is the most important crime saga of the millennium...This is reporting and expose built around an intricate plot, finely etched characters and whip-crack dialogue. Storytelling that matters.” — Robert Anglen, Arizona Republic on The Cartel

“Sensationally good, even after the near-perfection of The Power of the Dog. Less of a sequel than an integral part of a solid-gold whole.” — Lee Child on The Cartel

“Winslow is the most fearless chronicler of the chaos and violence along the U.S.-Mexico border...who has written what could be the War and Peace of the War on Drugs.” — Erik Hedegaard, Men’s Journal on The Cartel

THE CARTEL is a gut-punch of a novel. Big, ambitious, violent and widely entertaining, Don Winslow’s latest is an absolute must-read.” — Harlan Coben on The Cartel

“Winslow has delivered two of the most emotionally resonant novels in the past decade, The Power of the Dog and its epic conclusion, THE CARTEL...his rapid-fire story hits you like bullets from an AK-47.” — Ivy Pochoda, Los Angeles Times on The Cartel

“High-octane...The righteous indignation that fuels Winslow’s tale of cops, cartels, and the near-apocalyptic havoc they can create is addictive.” — Clark Collis, Entertainment Weekly on The Cartel