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The Force

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  21,118 ratings  ·  2,250 reviews
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—makes his William Morrow debut 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 i
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published June 20th 2017 by William Morrow (first published June 13th 2017)
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Kimberly I was truly engrossed in The Force. It still fits in with all the headlines today and gives you the inside advantage to what is really going on (or sh…moreI was truly engrossed in The Force. It still fits in with all the headlines today and gives you the inside advantage to what is really going on (or should I say, "could" be going on!! Malone's character will hook you and make you really root for him!! This is a book that you will think about after you've read it, for awhile. 5 Stars!!!

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  21,118 ratings  ·  2,250 reviews

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Will Byrnes
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
…he started out with his eyes firmly on the guiding star, his feet planted on the path, but that’s the thing about the life you walk—you start out pointed true North, but you vary one degree off, it doesn’t matter for maybe one year, five years, but as the years stack up you’re just walking farther and farther away from where you started out to go, you don’t even know you’re lost until you’re so far from your original destination you can’t even see it anymore - Don Winslow
Uneasy lies the head
Larry H
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have been a fan of Don Winslow's for more than 20 years, starting when I found his series featuring Neal Carey, one of the more unlikely private investigators I had seen back then. (This was a time when there wasn't such a glut of books featuring unlikely PIs.) Through the years I've read pretty much everything he has written, and I kept hoping there would be a book that would finally catapult him to the level of fame his talent so deserves.

Simply put, his latest book, The Force , is nothin
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Why bother calling 9-1-1 to report a crime when the cops are the biggest criminals on the streets and everyone knows it?

Denny Malone isn’t just your average police detective. He’s also one of the best cops the NYPD has who runs an elite unit nicknamed Da Force that takes on the worst cases involving gang and drug crimes, and he rules his Manhattan North turf along with the partners he loves like brothers. The thing is that Malone is also as crooked as a dog’s back leg because he beats suspects,
Diane S ☔
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The mean streets of New York, Denny Malone, leader of a special unit of cops, respected and feared, the city is his territory and his group know as Da Force. He is telling his story from a cell, but how did this king of the streets, at the top of his game, descend so low?

When I first started reading this I thought or I hoped this wouldn't be a cliched viewpoint of every had cop story we hear about. The writing though was addictive, and I kept telling myself that this was the top pick in book pag
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Force by Don Winslow is a 2017 William Morrow publication.

Denny Malone- a cop- NYPD, the member of an elite group. He’s seen it all in his eighteen years of service. But his badge is tarnished, and his dirty deeds are coming home to roost. Stealing drugs and skimming copious amounts of cash from a major drug bust, Denny is now under the watchful eye of the Feds, while the racial atmosphere in his city is threatening to boil over at any moment. To complicate matters further, Denny is separat
You tell me. Who are the bad guys, who are the good?

Denny Malone, NYPD Detective Sergeant, head of The Manhattan North Special Task Force; all he ever wanted was to be a good cop.

Have you ever dug a hole? That’s the only way I can describe The Force. You dig. The hole gets bigger. The bigger the hole gets it's hard to keep the dirt from seeping back in. If you’re not careful you’ll find yourself becoming part of that fill.

June 20, 2017 – Let the countdown begin!
The Force by Don Winslow

James Thane
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is another brilliant novel from Don Winslow, author of The Power of the Dog and The Winter of Frankie Machine. At the heart of the story is Detective Sergeant Denny Malone of the N.Y.P.D, a deeply flawed character in a corrupt and brutally flawed system.

Malone runs a small elite task force charged with chasing down drug dealers, gun runners, gang members and other such scum. He thinks of himself as the "King of Manhattan North," and to Malone's way of thinking, the ends almost always justif
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in three days, and at just shy of 500 pages, that tells you how gripping it was. Winslow is a really talented writer, who weaves together a clever, intriguing plot with a strange but successful blend of machismo, humanity and shocking reality. His language is almost musical in its rhythm, which makes this book and his others stand out from most thrillers. I have so much to say about this book, but I have to mull it over a little before I write a longer review. Definitely recomme ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
4.5 stars rounded up
Don Winslow takes his time setting the scene in The Force. Denny Malone is a highly decorated DS who was responsible for the largest heroin bust in NYC history. But he’s willing to bend the rules to suit his needs. Corruption is in the eyes of the beholder. Denny sees himself as king of Manhattan North, dispensing his own brand of justice. Through a combo of flashbacks and present day, we get to watch as Denny and his partners slide down the slippery slope of what's acceptabl
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
"The Fire THIS time."


This would have probaly just been another very good cop thriller without Don Winslow's race nuance (sometimes clunky, sometimes heavy-handed) and the novel's final act. Overall, 'The Force' is not as good as his Cartel series (The Power of the Dog, The Cartel), but in my opinion better than Savages. Winslow doesn't pull many punches when dealing with drug dealers, dirty cops, dirty politicos, etc. He really does deserve some major props from jumping right into the Black Liv
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How did you get here?
Like anyplace else.
A step at a time.

- Don Winslow, The Force

I’m a commuter now. I’ve switched cities and I’ve switched jobs and now I ride the train to work in the morning and the train back home at night. It’s a far cry from my former life, when it was a ten-minute trip, door-to-door, to get to my old office. Nine minutes if I hit the lights just so.

I read on the train, and that requires a certain kind of book. It can’t be a throwaway title, a so-called “beach read” or “gui
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it

It’s like watching Good Fellas except the wise guys are cops.

It’s also like watching The Gangs of New York – our gang is bigger than your gang. The NYPD is the biggest gang on the streets and it’s a turf war. But like in Scorsese’s film, the Feds are the biggest gang of all.

Winslow describes a New York police department task force team, assigned a section of North Manhattan, who patrols for guns, drugs, and every sort of crime. The leader of the task force team, Dennis Malone, is an o
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dirty Cops, Modern Shakespearean Tragedy

He who "fights monsters," Nietzsche warned, "should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster." As the novel opens, NYPD Detective Sergeant Denny Malone is being held in a federal lockup, accused of being a "dirty cop" into whom the abyss now gazes.

Malone is the de facto leader of NYPD's most elite crime-fighting unit, the Manhattan North Special Task Force, whose mission is to rid Washington Heights and the more gentrified Harlem of drugs
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I love Don Winslow's writing (The Cartel is a favorite) but this book missed the mark. The overall story, of police corruption, from the POV of a corrupt cop, is compelling but the writing just didn't work for me. There were all kinds of style tics and flourishes that kept pulling me out of the story. The use of the N word so much, got under my skin though I understand the context within which it was used and that it was being used for authenticity's sake. Oh there was this thing with rap lyrics ...more
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of The Shield, The Wire, or any other forms of goodness.
This is the the type of great book you don't see everyday; that you might go all year without reading. A book where you simultaneously want to see what the hell happens on the next page but also want to slow down your reading because you don't want it to end. A book that on one hand is crazily entertaining but also makes you hit Google and read articles to learn more about its timely issues.
Hell isn't having no choice. It's having to make a choice between horrific things.
At the risk
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Robin by: Perry
Shelves: thriller, american, 2017
The ultimate corrupt cop saga

This is the story of a special group within the NYPD (called "The Force") whose aim is to clean up Manhattan North of the threat of drugs and weapons. A group that takes bribes and payouts, steals what should have been confiscated from busts, runs prostitutes, uses uppers and downers to get through the day, and more. This group also takes pride in their work, considers each other to be closer than blood, trusts each other with their lives, and truly wants good to
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller, fiction
More detailed review to come but I highly recommend this book. The characters were well developed and it was a lot more than just a novel about "bad cops"
I loved the details about New York. One of the cities I have always wanted to visit.
This book was full of surprises and kept me interested to the very last page. I will read more from this author. Interesting and suspenseful read
THE FORCE is a brutal look at what all too often happens to policemen on the job.

It made me laugh, almost made me cry, it made me angry and it also kept me listening.

Don Winslow knows how to tell a brutal and real tale and even though hardly anyone is likable? You can't stop reading his books until you're done. You just can't.

*Thanks to my local library for the free audiobook download. Libraries RULE!*
I’m late to the party with this one & there are already a ton of reviews to help you decide whether or not to add it to your TBR pile. I doubt I have anything new to add so I’ll just toss out a few thoughts.

First of all, this came with an incredible amount of buzz…always dangerous. But I picked it up after hearing it compared to Ken Bruen, an author I’ve long admired.

I’ll be honest…by the time I reached about 150 pages it was firmly in 3 star territory. Denny Malone is the MC & we spend a massiv
Paul Falk
Don Winslow presented a hard-boiled crime drama that grabbed me by the collar with both hands and never let go. It was an exciting trip through the Big Apple with New York City's finest. It came fully enriched with profane police lingo and gangbanger street slang. Languages unto themselves. Action-packed scenes followed this character-driven storyline through the streets and alleyways of upper Manhattan. This superbly-written storyline did not fail to deliver a stunning, dramatic ending.

Chris Berko
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning and every bit as good as Power of the Dog and the Cartel. Don Winslow used to write tight little murder mysteries that were super cool to read and full of pop culture references, he now masters the huge, sprawling, multi-layered, ambitious, expansive, intricately-plotted behemoths that seem so real it's almost like you are reading a case file or listening to actual cops tell their stories. This is not a good guys vs. bad guys kind of book and don't go into this if you are exp ...more
Michael Robotham
It is always such a pleasure to pick up anything that Don Winslow writes. THE FORCE is a magnificent, roller-coaster of a novel set in a New York police precinct, where there is honour, bravery, corruption, intrigue and death.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was excited to read this because 1) I'm a big fan of Winslow's "Savages" and the "Cartel" series, and 2) I live in a town with its share of police brutality and corruption, and I was curious to see Winslow's take on the issues.

Unfortunately for me, I kinda hated this book.

The problems start right from the first page, as Winslow writes in a grating tone that's both hyper-masculine and painfully melodramatic. Winslow is doing the third-person limited POV thing, where he adopts to perspective o
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Serpico meets Goodfellas. Winslow continues his themes from Savages, Power of the Dog, and The Cartel of drugs, money, power, and corruption. This time he takes us on a journey through the life of Denny Malone who grew up wanting to be a good cop and ended up as the dirtiest crookedest backstabbingest one of all.

And the questions that Winslow began exploring in books like Savages continue. How do you deal with the criminals and Savages without becoming one yourself? Can you successfully fight t
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing novel... reads like a corrupted police movie.. packed with action, guilt, blood, a sea of guns and drugs.. the dens and clubs of the underworld.. the deep pockets of corrupted politicians, city hall, Feds, other cops, Cartels, drug lords. Narco-esque and Godfather-ishy at the same time.

Denny Malone .. the king of Da Force.. the god of the special task force... the hero and the fallen angel from grace...

One of the most enjoyable action packed novels that I read this year. Totally deserv
Denny Malone leads the men of the Manhattan North Special Task Force, an elite group of NYPD detectives otherwise known as “Da Force”. Malone and company “hold the line” separating the drugs and violence of the gangs from the “good people” of Manhattan - a task easier said than done. As Da Force often trudges through the mud, they’re bound to get dirty so when Malone gets caught by the Feds during one of his unsavory dealings, the resulting damage threatens to destroy Da Force and the fragile pe ...more
Renee (itsbooktalk)
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You can find all my reviews at

Is it possible that July has brought me my top read of 2017? It's very likely unless something else truly phenomenal comes along between now and Dec 31 to knock this blockbuster off it's perch on the tippy top of my top reads shelf. There's definitely a reason this was published in June because this is the perfect summer read to take to the beach, pool or patio. A crime thriller is the perfect summer read you may be asking? Oh yes, just ask Time,
Sean Peters
A first for me with this author. Established and respected author, who writes gritty thrillers.

Detective First Grade Dennis John Malone is the story’s arrogant hero, a case study in how unbearable pressure can push even the most idealistic guy on the Manhattan North Special Task Force to destroy everything he holds dear. The unit is fictitious, and so is Denny, but they don’t sound that way. Fresh off “The Cartel,” with its knowing descriptions of brutality in a Mexican drug cartel, Winslow make
Matthew Quann
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
Crime novels, specifically cop dramas, are not my usual reading fare. But it stood to reason that I'd probably enjoy something like The Force since I've dug shows like The Wire, The Shield, and other cop shows in the past. Really, it's hard to read The Force and not imagine it playing out on a big screen or streaming service. The action is near constant, the pacing is pulse-pounding, and every scene seemed like it was waiting to jump off the page and be put behind a lens. As far as my limited ex ...more
Adam Howe
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Exactly the kinda Shield-style dirty cop story I was hoping for!
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Don Winslow is the author of twenty-one acclaimed, award-winning international bestsellers, including the New York Times bestsellers The Force and The Border, the #1 international bestseller The Cartel, The Power of the Dog, Savages, and The Winter of Frankie Machine. Savages was made into a feature film by three-time Oscar-winning writer-director Oliver Stone. The Power of the Dog, The Cartel and ...more

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“Truth, justice and the American way. The American way is: truth and justice maybe say hello in the hallway, send each other a Christmas card, but that’s about the extent of their relationship.” 14 likes
“Hell isn't having no choice.
It's having to make a choice between horrific things.”
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