I'm a Don Winslow fan. One of my reading "projects" has been to catch up reading his novels, and (yay) with this one I finally did it. Now waiting for something new from him.
This book is epic, a tad under 500 pages. It has laudatory blurbs from Steven King ("mesmerizing") and Lee Child ("best cop novel ever written"). Maybe. But it's not my cup of tea, may be yours.
So, no light sabers, although I wonder how many careless Star Wars fans picked it up by mistake. The Force in question is the NYPD, and it's a different bunch from what you'll see on the TV show Blue Bloods. Tom Selleck is not in evidence anywhere. The antihero protagonist is Denny Malone, police detective, and leader of the Manhattan North Special Task Force, a supercop unit charged with dealing with drugs, gangs, guns, etc. in Harlem.
"Antihero" might be putting it mildly. This sounds like a spoiler, but it's not: Denny executes a drug kingpin in cold blood, and his unit rips off $4 million and 20 kilos of high-quality heroin. Unfortunately, one of his cops dies grotesquely when a heroin bag bursts open and spills into his open wounds… yeesh.
That's on pages 15-16.
And that's part of the problem. Neither Denny, nor most in his cop-thug gang, are admirable in the slightest. If a substance can possibly be abused, they do so. They lie, cheat on their wives, behave corruptly as a matter of entitlement. And just about everyone else in the tale is equally corrupt, if not more so. The squad's only virtue is loyalty; but that turns out to be ephemeral as well.
Most of this book shows how things gradually fall apart for Denny and his crew, with an ever-mounting body count. Again a (slight) spoiler, the final line: "All Denny Malone ever wanted was to be was a good cop."
He did a piss-poor job of that.