Thursday, July 19, 2012

Read: "King City" by Lee Goldberg

Read: King City by Lee Goldberg, 2011, 97816112183176.

Goldberg wrote or linked to some interview or article he wrote about how this is a modern day Western.  I did not read the article because a) I did not give a rat's ass and, b) why bother when I knew I was going to read the book anyway?

As usual Goldberg did a good job.  There were some annoying proofing errors.  Spoilers await so take my recommendation that the book is worth reading.

King City in Eastern Washington was founded by corrupt men and still run by corrupt men.  Policeman Tom Wade was assigned to a crime unit run by crooked cops.  Rather than go to the Police Chief and have the graft hidden away he went to the Justice Department.  The resulting arrests, prosecutions and convictions made Wade a pariah, earned him a divorce, and placed him on extended administrative leave.

After all the turmoil Wade is back on duty.  Rather than demote or fire Wade the department has assigned him to Darwin Gardens.  Darwin is the forgotten, written off (literally, from both maps and statistics), and crime-ridden neighborhood of the city.  Wade is sent there to run the new police substation.  The department hopes Wade will quickly be killed off.

Wade is assigned two rookie officers and installed in a former porn store still papered with x-rated movie posters and fire damage.  His patrol cars each have over 200k miles and are filled with either garbage or sprayed inside with urine.  He can expect no back-up and no support from the rest of the department.  His first day in uniform brings a challenge from local thugs who trash his Mustang.  Wade responds by shooting up the leader's Escalade.

Wade moves into apartment above police station.  Wade employs a kind of frontier justice by forcefully responding to threats.  Wade believes in the power of the badge and the authority it gives officers.  Blah Blah Blah.  Murder victim found.  Other murders discovered.  Wade fights the local hoods and police department negligence.  Wade stands up for the residents of Darwin.  Wade bangs local pancake house owner.  Wade arrests deputies who take drunks from rich areas and dump then in Darwin. Wade solves the murders.  Wade and rookies get no departmental notice or thanks for solving several murders.  Wade brings his teen daughter to Darwin for a weekend stay.

1.  Wade is contradictory in his behavior and is often called on it by the girl rookie officer.
2.  Action scenes were good.
3.  Author bio in back of book says Goldberg was involved at one time with Hunter tv show.  Poor man.

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