The Big Fear (Hollow City Series, #1)by Andrew Case Published 01 Apr 2016
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|Publisher||Thomas & Mercer|
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It’s August in New York, and the steaming garbage littering the streets isn’t the only thing that stinks.
Civilian investigator Leonard Mitchell can keep his job as the new head of the Department to Investigate Misconduct and Corruption only by successfully prosecuting veteran cop Ralph Mulino.
Mulino shot an armed man on a dark night; he didn’t know the man was a fellow cop. Now, to keep his badge and his freedom, he has to make his case to the investigator. But the gun Mulino saw in his victim’s hand has disappeared.
As Mitchell digs deeper into Mulino’s claim, it becomes clear that the “misconduct and corruption” infecting New York City go far beyond the actions of one allegedly dirty cop. Murder and sabotage force Mulino and Mitchell into an uneasy partnership to uncover the truth and protect the city they are both sworn to serve.
Assuming, of course, they can stay alive…
"The Big Fear (Hollow City Series, #1)" Reviews
Leonard Mitchell is the new acting director of New York City's Department to Investigate Misconduct and Corruption. In particular, it's the job of his office to root out and punish corrupt cops. Mitchell is very anxious to get the job on a full-time basis and so it's important that he make a big score right out of the gate.
He gets his chance with a case involving a veteran detective named Ralph Mulino. Mulino is fifty-three years old, a cop with a bad knee and a shadow that's dogged his career for years. He's called out in the middle of a hot night to investigate an alarm from a ship at anchor in the harbor. He's not really the logical person to respond to such a call and can't imagine why he captain has insisted that he should go. But once ordered to do so, he naturally agrees.
When the Harbor Patrol delivers him to the vessel, Mulino climbs a long slippery ladder and makes his way up onto a deck that appears deserted. After a few minutes, though, he discovers a body lying on the deck and suddenly realizes that he is not alone. He tracks down a man moving through the containers and orders him to freeze. The man raises a gun in his direction and Mulino fires a single shot, dropping the man in his tracks. As the man lays dying, Mulino pulls a lanyard from under the guy's shirt and discovers a detective's badge.
At which point, all hell breaks loose.
A swarm of cops arrives and Mulino tells his story. The only problem is that no one can find the gun that Molino saw in the dead man's hand. Thus the case falls to Leonard Mitchell who sees a chance to make his bones by bringing down Molino. But as he digs further into the case, Mitchell finds that he's pulled back the curtain on a web of corruption and financial intrigue, and the more he presses the case the more complicated--and dangerous--it becomes.
This is a taut thriller with a unique protagonist and a very clever set of crimes. The author, a playwright, is himself a veteran of New York City's Civilian Complaint Review Board, and he clearly knows the territory. The city itself is a major character in the novel, and Case puts you right in the middle of it. For example, there's a garbage strike going on during the course of the book, and by the time the author gets through describing it, you could swear that there was a bag of rotting garbage sitting right next to your Barcalounger.
This is a book that will appeal to a large group of crime fiction fans, especially those who enjoy complex and fast-paced stories set on the Mean Streets of the country's most important city--an excellent debut novel.
This was an Amazon First Read choice for me and I chose wisely this month. I understand this is Andrew Case's first novel. This is a fantastic first book and I will definitely look for more.
The plot developed through a small number of pov with great character development. I was hooked from chapter one. We start off with a veteran police detective being called out to a ship in the New York harbor, for some unknown reason (other than a crime or disturbance has been reported). What he finds sets up this suspenseful plot and the story takes off.
I've never been to New York, but this book takes place there and the events of 9/11 still hang as a dark cloud over this great city. I imagine the book captures the feel that must surly be present. It's not a dark book really but it does deal with dark themes.
This is a fast paced, enjoyable read.
Ralph Mulino hated the sea. He was comfortable in the stairwells of housing projects and the stubble of vacant lots, but on the water he felt exposed.
So, Ralph is a cop and in the first chapter, he shoots another cop who is sneaking around a crime scene with his gun drawn. But, when the crime scene is processed, no gun is found. The book follows Ralph, Leonard Mitchell (who works at the Department to Investigate Misconduct and Corruption), and Christine Davenport (Leonard's boss) as they try to discover who is setting Ralph up and who is behind the disasters occurring around the city.
I found this book just ok. I didn't particularly like any of the characters and the conspiracy was kind of dull. There actually was a twist at the end that I didn't expect but not enough to make up for the rest of the book.
In “The Big Fear,” author Andrew Case does a remarkable job of capturing the overweight ambience that surrounds New York City. The enormous city fascinates people who are not only awestruck by its immensity, but by its diverse humanity, constant hubbub, political turmoil, and its suffocating press of gigantic buildings. Case brings it all to life with his creative language and descriptive prose. The reader actually feels the pulse of NYC.
Veteran cop Ralph Mulino shoots a killer after chasing him around a huge cargo ship in the dark. The miscreant turns out to be a fellow police officer that never responds to Mulino’s warnings to surrender and pulls a gun on his pursuer. The gun disappears and Mulino becomes the object of an investigation for shooting an unarmed man. Murder and sabotage emerge as vast corruption contaminating the city becomes evident. Leonard Mitchell, the new director of a department that investigates misconduct in city officials will only keep his job if he successfully prosecutes Mulino, but his doubts begin to overcome the evidence and both he and Mulino become targets for dirty cops and greedy financial predators that have their illegal and deadly operations threatened. The frantic search for answers is on along with the need to identify staged catastrophes, the end product of all the illegal activity.
Case has imagined a riveting story that showcases the dark underbelly of NYC that includes not only the police department but extends into the financial world, wealthy industrialists, and union activities. The author worked at New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board for some 10 years, experience that lends credibility to his story. His experiences have, no doubt, contributed to the authenticity one feels in his work.
Walking long distances in NYC is common (I know because I’ve been there) and, because walking plays a large part in the story, one gets physically exhausted while reading the book. Many areas of the city are explored and described during the treks, including stacks of leaking and stinking garbage bags that, even today, are a common sight. The author also describes the despair of the homeless, the mass of normal citizens that never sees activities occurring right in front of them, and the zealous civil rights activity that keeps the pot boiling. Capping it off is the weather, either hot and steaming or cold and wet, that takes all the fun out of hoofing it. One has to be strong to live in this metropolis.
“The Big Fear” is Andrew Case’s first novel. He was a well-received poet before venturing into fiction and that adds a lyricism to his writing. I found it an excellent read.
This novel is about several investigations proceeding at the same time with some aspects not clear to those doing the investigating that the investigations are most likely related.
Rather than a single main character, there are several major characters that the novel deals with.
I am really conflicted about this review and here's why - this novel is one of the better "police procedural" novels I have read in a long time. Having insight into the world of law enforcement and governmental machinations, this area of the novel is dead on and I enjoyed that greatly.
I also enjoyed how the author wove different threads found in different parts into a singular plot.
While reading the novel, where the novel went astray for me was that of the main plot point and how for me to have fully enjoyed it, it required somewhat of a suspension of rational belief.
Still, the novel was enjoyable and recommend with reservations.
I received this book free through Kindle First, and I bought into some of the good reviews, but I wish I had gone with one of the other choices. I just wanted an easy detective story, and this was not it. Something about his writing style was very hard for me to focus. Any type of description paragraph made my mind wander. I understand you need a side salad in a novel, because if you only wrote the "meat and potatoes" your book wouldn't be very long. But the details added were just arduous and convoluted with fragmented sentences. I saw the "twist" coming long before it was revealed and honestly don't understand how the main character never saw it coming. I didn't enjoy the setup of the entire situation - all the description about what had happened to NYC and how certain characters felt about it - the corruption, the lengths, the coverups, it was all so ridiculous. I can't recommend this book for any type of reader.