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Officer Down

3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  218 ratings  ·  42 reviews
The Chicago Police Department says Samantha Mack shot her partner, Fred, during the confusion of a bungled pursuit. Mack says it was their quarry, a violent pedophile named Marco Trovic, who fired the deadly round in that darkened room. But Mack was knocked out and can’t really say what happened.

When no evidence of Trovic is found on the scene and the bullet is shown to ha
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published September 1st 2005)
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Edgar Award Winners
69th out of 79 books — 113 voters
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Books I Gave 5 Out of 5 Stars
8th out of 11 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

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Promising though mostly indifferent procedural. The opening scene--an attempted arrest in an abandoned building that goes awry--is quite good: the protagonist and narrator's utter confusion is vividly rendered. On the whole, though, I think the constellation of sex, violence and authority as it creates a certain kind of female subjectivity has been better handled, most notably by Susanna Moore in "In the Cut."

I'll probably give Schwegel the benefit of the doubt and see what her second book is li
There are lots of super cops in crime fiction blessed with razor-sharp minds and martial art skills. Samantha Mack isn't one of them. She's a terrible cop whose mind is mostly dulled by alcohol or blows to the head.

Sam's partner gets killed in a confused shooting, and she is blamed for it. Not my favorite plot (cop accused of murder), but it works well with this character. She starts her own messy, inefficient investigation while dodging the IA and spying on her married lover, mixing it all up
Jen Phillips
Mar 25, 2007 Jen Phillips rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cop procedural fans
Okay, I'm trying to read some Agatha and Golden Dagger winners and nominees. This book is about a Chicago cop who gets accused of accidentally killing her partner during a sting operation. I'm only about a 1/3 of the way through; the action level is high, and there is some snappy dialogue.
I was disappointed in this Edgar Award Winner. The main character was too stupid to be real.
Mary JL
Mar 14, 2010 Mary JL rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Desperate mystery readers only
Recommended to Mary JL by: Received as a gift
Shelves: mystery-horror
The summary given in the box above makes the plot seem really tantalizing. Since it also won an Edgar award, I was expecting great things from this book.

I was sadly disappointed. The premise sounds good, but the writing does not satisfy me. Yes, I know Samantha is traumatized having just lost her partner, but I could not warm up to her character at all. She struck me as having a lot of problems preventing me from thinking she was a good officer. Way to muchof a loose cannon for me to respect her
Rob Kitchin
Officer Down has two key strengths. First is the character development. Samantha Mack has a spiky persona - emotional, impulsive, insecure, confrontational, needy, with a dose of self-loathing. A woman operating it an environment dominated by testosterone-fuelled men, hyped up on stress and sexist banter, she fronts up to any challenge. Her love life is a mess and she’s developing a drink problem. She might not be the most lovable of characters, but she's well penned. The other principal actors ...more
I picked up this book based on a recommendation from Goodreads.

The premise – a police officer’s partner is gunned down and the officer is suspected of having killed him – sounded interesting. Sadly, I was disappointed.

Mostly it was because I couldn’t warm up to the main character, Samantha Mack. She seemed more interested in sorting out her messed up love life than finding out who really killed her partner and clearing her name. When she did try to find out, she went about it in the most inept w
BEWARE OF SPOILERS. I DON'T HIDE OR PROMOTE MY REVIEWS. (I write them to help remember what I've read, as book titles don't stick with me).

Chicago-philes will enjoy the settings in "Officer Down," which the author has written in relentless present tense.

First, I learn this apparently common-sense young female officer carries a grudge against her former police partner. Then I watch her and the former partner have to work an evening shift together.

Shots are fired when the two go into a dark build
OFFICER DOWN (Police Procedural-Chicago-Cont) – Ok
Schwegel, Theresa – 1st book
St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2005- Hardcover
Officer Samatha Mack is called in from her day off to go out on call with her former partner, Fred Maloney. They go after a pedophile, Trovic. Sam wakes up in the hospital with a head injury, Fred has been killed and the bullet came from Sam’s gun. After her and her married lover tells her the police aren’t looking for Trovic, Sam finds she has no support from her superiors, IA is
2005 Edgar Award for Best First Novel.

Police Thriller - Samantha Mack and her partner enter a building looking for a pedophile. Sam is hit from behind and awakes to find her partner dead with her gun. The establishment wants to sweep the incident under the rug as friendly fire. Her married lover, Homicide Detective Mason Imes, heads the investigation. Complex debut novel with no really likeable characters.
This was a debut novel. The main character was a bit too annoying throughout most of the book. However the author wrapped it up quite nicely and the writing was quite good, so I think I will try another one of her books. Kudos on an annoying cop Theresa lol!
Melanie Chabrol-
I loved this book. First time I read this author. Chicago Police Department Sam Mack signed up to serve and protect. ADay got hechtic and shooting begins and turns out evidence shows Samantha was the shooter... she would never shoot her partner. She is off the case and she is on leave of absence.
She finds out some colleagues are bad and is having a hard time trying to believe the good from the bad. Will Sam earn self respect and get her job back find out in OFFICER DOWN
Dede Herrick
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Samantha Mack is a cop with a drink problem and a married lover. Her problems get even worse when she and her partner go to arrest a paedophile, her partner gets shot and she wakes up in hospital with concussion and accused of murder. Strangely, I really liked Sam because her problems made her flawed and this makes her human. Very enjoyable crime novel as Sam tries to find out the truth.
This was a good cop book. The main character was a little rough around the edges. So she was likable, but I got frustrated with her at times when she did stupid stuff.
There's a love story, but again, it's likable - not lovable.

Overall, a good read, but didn't get sucked in so much that I miss the characters now that the book is over.
Nick Vassiliou
I'm always seeking out a hidden gem, unfortunately this isn't one of them. Schwegel's writing is strong, she has a good sense of urgency in her prose; the plot, however, drifted into standard fair.

I was also disappointed by the female protaganist--yet another woman who desperately falls in love with the wrong man.
The author is a former student of Loyola University of Chicago. The main character is a Chicago cop. The opening crime scene takes place in a Rogers Park house. This book was a nice blend of humor and suspense, as the cop unravels the murder of her former partner.
David Green
Fun and fast paced book. Schwegel is a solid writer with good characters and clever dialogue. Her main character isn't the typical detective who knows exactly whats going on and is so confident they can't mistakes. A very satisfying ending.
Heather Lasher
The main character was actually a little annoying at times and it all wrapped up a little too neatly and suddenly for me. For a book, it was a little too implausible, but I do think though that it would make a decent movie.
James Hayman
A quirky police procedural about a female cop head over heels in love with the wrong guy. Schwegel's debut and a darned good one. I won the Edgar for best first novel. I'll go on to read more of her stuff.
Tory Wagner
Not sure if I liked it or not. Great writing, but I found the main character hard to identify with. Cop who always seems miserable. Did get caught up in the story though!
The main character is a female police officer, accused of accidently killing another cop. Story was just ok, and I could figure out who the bad guy was fairly quickly.
Ron Holmes
First book by Theresa Schwegel,a tough-gal police murder mystery. It was a good read, fast paced with some sex. But the sex adds to the story line perfectly.
Feb 27, 2010 Rose rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Tracy, Carrie
This is an impressive debut police novel, and deserving of the Edgar Award. A twising, page-turner that keeps you guessing right up until the very end.
I was interested in this book because the author is from the area I work in...didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
Angel R
I loved this book. I haven't seen anything else by this author though. I would like to find other books of hers.
Jul 20, 2007 CLM rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
This book had been highly recommended (I think it was an Edgar finalist) but I found it very disappointing.
Quick "cop" read that takes place in Chicago with an interesting twist at the end.
A mystery that held my attention to the end, but I didn't like the character very much.
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Theresa Schwegel was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She is the author of four crime novels set in and around the Chicago area. Her debut, Officer Down, was published in 2005, and subsequently won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. In 2008, she received the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation in recognition for an emerging artist with ties to Chicago. Her fifth n ...more
More about Theresa Schwegel...
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