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(Superbia #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  456 ratings  ·  55 reviews
The Most Dangerous Police Book Ever Written...

After Frank O'Ryan gets shot, his first assignment is working with the most disliked man in his police department, Detective Vic Ajax. Ajax isn't like the other cops. He doesn't like them and they don't like him. He hunts drug dealers and pedophiles.
Now, Frank will enter a world where being real police means laying so much of
Kindle Edition, 174 pages
Published December 11th 2013 by Apiary Society Publications (first published January 21st 2012)
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3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  456 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
New York City has about 36,000 cops. All report to the same chain of command. Philadelphia is surrounded by counties divided into multiple municipalities, each having its own police force with different standards and operations.

Schaffer uses that structure to examine two detectives in a small police force, Frank and Vic. Frank is coming back from leave having been shot and is assigned to work with Vic, an old-fashioned detective. He’s still in pain but Vic won’t let him have any narcotic pain-k
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great writing. Not what I expected at first, but once I was into the story I loved it. Gritty, realistic and honest.
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Superbia by Bernard Schaffer is a super fast pasted, adrenaline laced story about the life of a cop.

Frank O'Brian is a newbie in a relatively small town that basically only handles misdemeanors. After only being on the job for a few short years, he was injured in a robbery gone wrong arrest. When he got back from recovery, he was placed in the unit's Detectives team... that consisted of just one lonely hard ass, Vic. Together Vic and Frank work on a few cases that come into the station... one a
B. Throwsnaill
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Superbia is a bit like an old fashioned amusement ride that dares you to sit back and take a tour of the dark side of police work--and of the human race itself. While much of the ride is amusing, you won't forget that this is a horror-themed ride at its core. It's a fast-paced journey with a well structured plot, likeable characters, and a few surprises lurking in its shadowy corridors. Recommended for mature readers who aren't afraid to be exposed to the ugly side of human nature and witness th ...more
Matt Schiariti
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read. Superbia is funny, brutal, sad, and tragic all at the same time. The author pulls from his experience in law enforcement and gives the reader and intimate glimpse into the day to day of a police officer. The pacing is fast, the characters three dimensional, the dialogue top notch. Highly recommended
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Bernard Schaffer is a twenty-year police veteran, and that experience is constantly on display in Superbia, a short novel about a suburban Philadelphia police force somewhat similar to the environs in which Schaffer has served. However, at the time he wrote this book, he wasn’t a twenty-year crime fiction writing veteran, and that inexperience also shows in a fragmented plot and some highly stereotyped characters.

As Schaffer notes in his introduction to the book, the Philadelphia suburbs actuall
Christy Kelly
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
WOW, a tense, humorous fast read you must not miss!

After slogging through four mundane, stultifying "suspense" novels, I found this jewel! Granted I had read them because they were free if I would review them which proves the principle "there's no free lunch". This one too was free and I am ecstatic to find this author. This is not your typical mystery or police procedural. The author grabs you by the throat from the beginning and throws you into this whirlwind of a small PD. You hit the ground
Jul 18, 2018 rated it did not like it

Omg this book is so boring i don't get why people even make books like this I hate this book
David Hulegaard
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are so many things that I want to say about this book, but I truly believe that the best way to experience it is to go into it cold. That's the way I experienced it. From being a fan of the author, I knew roughly what it was about, but when I began to read, it could not have been any further from my initial expectation.

Hands down, Schaffer is the very best independent author I have ever read. I buy his books with confidence knowing that I'm going to get a quality read. With Superbia, Schaf
Mike McNeff
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drug-wars, police
Superbia is a book that drags you through the emotional roller coaster of being a cop. I loved the book because it peals back the thick panels separating the public from the police and I hated it because it brought back bad memories. It's a concentrated slice of the police world I lived in for 29 years.

Although the characters are fictional, they are personalities that do exist in just about every law enforcement agency in the world. The character of Sgt./Chief Erinnyes brings back very bad memor
Marc  A.
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm unhesitatingly giving this novella 4 stars because of the fine quality of the writing. It's a good story with characters you can care about.

Schaffer is a working detective and this police story (which he claims is based on true personal experiences)could easily be a pilot for one of the better and more realistic TV "cop shows", like Southland, The Killing, The Wire, and NYPD Blue, and stand up in that company like a champ.

And that's the problem. We have been here before. All the classic ele
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the first in a series of three police novels. It reminds me of "The Wire" or "Chicago PD," in that it exposes the dark side of police work. Frank is our protagonist, he's a small town policeman. Circumstances get him reassigned to partner up with Vince, the department's only investigator. Frank winds up getting injured in a shooting where his former partner is killed, hence the reassignment. Pain pills don't do enough to take the edge off as Frank tries to walk on his reconstructed knee. ...more
William Bentrim
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Superbia by Bernard Schaffer

A cop and robbers book for the suburbs. The relationship between two cops, their department and the perpetrators they handled.

The author claims authenticity in his story. Not necessarily in fact of the cases or people but in the feel of the circumstances.

Schaffer made cops real live, fragile and strong people. Post traumatic stress doesn't just plague those in the military but those who serve the public in many ways. I don't know if Mr. Schaffer was proselytizating
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't give a lot of five star reviews but this one earned it and then some. I didn't really know what to expect when I started reading this but it didn't take long before I noticed chunks of time going by while I was immersed in this book. It is very gritty and in your face. It has such a ring of truth to it that you cannot help but think it is a biography. It shows you what great lengths cops will go to in order to protect the ones they love and how hard they will make it on the ones they don ...more
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
A rough and tumble, head-smashing, throat-grabbing novel that features two very unsympathetic detectives who are thrown together and have to make the best of a bad situation. Some sympathy eventually arises as their extreme personalities evolve and mesh and eventually... well, I won't offer a spoiler here. Just know that this isn't the warm and fuzzy buddy cop movie you were anticipating. Vulgar and gritty and violent and often times outrageously funny, this story is adult oriented and not recom ...more
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
This books starts out with a bang...literally, but then slows down. This is not an exciting book, nor a feel good book. But it is an interesting book in that we see the life of a police officer and what they deal with in the office, in the field, at home and then how they try to cope and get a handle on all their emotions and responsibilities.
It takes a very understanding spouse to be married to a law enforcement office. All the crap and low lives they must deal with and yet not bring
Beryl Cost
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, noir, drama
I really enjoyed this book a lot. I work in the court system and know a lot of police officers and I can see their faces in the characters in this book. I don't know what goes on behind closed doors in their day to day work but nothing mentioned in the book really surprises me. its sad that that's how it is but not surprising. I absolutely think law enforrcement is underpaid and underappreciated. they are true heroes to pit their lives on the line every day for the peanuts they make and the abus ...more
Solace Winter
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
So, this isn't my sort of novel. At all. However, the writing was simple and yet clever and the store was about what you would expect from a novel like this. It wasn't fully comprehensive, and to be honest the resolution in the story is NOT where you would expect the resolution to be. The ending leaves more questions than answers, but the questions that are answered are the ones you need to have answered by the end of the book. Like what in the Hell is a Truth Rabbit?

The novel offers insight int
Garth Mailman
by Bernard Schaffer

Some men see psychiatrists, some take up martial arts, some lift weights or punch bags, and some write. Everyone finds a means of venting their demons or they’ll explode. This author apparently works in law enforcement. The book has an abrupt ending and the storyline is unfinished because there are indeed volumes 2 and 3 in the series. The writing style is straight forward and refreshingly well-edited for a change. This police procedural will carry you along but be warned the
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
First in a police procedural series, written by a former police officer. He also has a SciFi Western series and a few other books,heavy on the SciFi, out there.

Dialog a bit cliched, couple dream scenes, a bunch of episodes thrown together instead of one big case. Lots of high "domestic drama". Called "gritty" by some - meh. Biggest issue is, this is supposed to be suburban Philly, but could be suburban Phoenix just as well. No local color.

Short and quick, but I doubt I will be reading any of t
It's a cop story--there are drug dealers, and prostitutes and bad cops and good cops and young cops and cops who aspire to be chief so they will kiss butt and lie at any opportunity. There is swearing and families that function without their police dad--some better than others. There are cops who see terrible, awful things that they can't ever un-see. There are people who defend the child molester uncle instead of the child victim. There are cops that keep secrets for the right price and those w ...more
J.H. Sked
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
The author is a policeman, and has managed to bring an underlying sense of "this is how it is" to this story.
Following two cops forced to pair up together while one recovers from a traumatic shooting, this story made me laugh, gasp, and at the end just about broke my heart.
Schaffer shows the human heart of police work, far removed from the gloss of CSI's pretty people and makes you care about them.
Warning :Strong language and some nasty details for the sensitive souls out there.

Recommended for
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: free-ebooks
Fucking great book. There. I said it. Not my most brilliant piece of mind but it's heartfelt. I don't know how much of this was made up or real and I don't particularly care. It's damn good. The writing is clever, clear and with no bullshit. Not my usual type of book at all. In fact, I was pretty reluctant to read it but I'd had it for a couple months and thought I should give it a try. I don't regret it one bit. I didn't put it down once after I started reading it. It was fun yet scary. Enterta ...more
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Kinda like Wambaugh's "Choir Boys", but a bit more dark. Some cop humor and a peek inside a police department. Mr. Schaffer is a real life police detective and a writer. This is a novel, but he draws on his long career as a law enforcement officer. This is a pretty decent, tight story about a patrol cop assigned to partner with a small police force's one-man detective department. Pretty good read if you like police stories and dark cop humor.
Jeff Benham
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
It is a bit dark and has little humor, but it is part of a trilogy. It shows the seedier side of police work. The main character is a patrol cop thrown in to detective work while he recovers from being shot. He doesn't mind going outside the box, but has a problem with the corruption. The second book looks like it deals with how he plots his revenge, so if you like this book, plan on reading the entire trilogy.
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This is a fantastic novella (I read it in a day) that reads like an episode of Castle with the two main characters treating each other just like Ryan & Esposito. There is serious tragedy balanced out with much levity - and I personally found the levity hysterically funny. It's a really great, funny, gritty peek into the lives of cops in small town Suberbia.
Susan Adkins
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Police officer Frank O'Ryan is left with a shattered knee and a growing addiction to Percocet. Then he is assigned to assist the most despised person in his police department, Detective Vic Ajax.
Superbia is the funniest, scariest, most brutal account of what police officers truly experience. I recommend it.
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
An interesting look inside a seemingly apathetic cop who may end up being more. Enjoyable, entertaining, and definitely a yearning for more is where I am left at the end of this book. I will definitely be picking up book 2.
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
So far so good... This book is the first in a series, but it seems more like the first chapters of a long novel. I'm into it and want to read the rest of the story, but unfortunately I have to read it in chunks due to the stupid limits on my Amazon Prime library checkouts.
Dec 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Definitely a fun read. I won't put the story in the same league as The Wire, but it was engaging enough for me to have a hard time putting down the Kindle. The book avoids using unnecessary complicated literature which is always a plus for me. I do consider reading the rest of the book series.
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Bernard Schaffer is the author of the Santero and Rein Thriller Series from Kensington Publications.
Prior to that, he published multiple titles in a variety of genres as an independent author. Schaffer is the father of two children and a full-time police detective in Southeastern PA.
Visit him @BernardSchaffer or

Other books in the series

Superbia (5 books)
  • Superbia 2
  • Superbia 3
  • Superbia 4: Short Stories
  • Snake Wine (Jack Daniels and Associates; Superbia #5)