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18 August, 2008

Book Review: True Detective by James A. Huebner

Read and revieved for Front Street Reviews
New York City cop, Sergeant Detective Marlowe finds himself in a new place. Coming back to work after an extended leave of absence, sitting through sessions with a therapist that he believes he doesn’t really need, and starting work in a new precinct with a new partner. On their first night together, they discover an odd crime in Battery park. Someone has left a carefully stuffed cadaver skin, hanging above the water that formed one of the park’s boundaries, holding a sign that says SS New York on it.

In the days and weeks that follow Marlowe learns more about his partner. Both he and his partner Detective Captain Cross both had been touched by the events of 9-11 in ways besides helping with the rescue, and eventual body removal from the tower’s rubble. Both had been involved in investigations and arrests concerning the attacks on the World Trade Center. Marlowe finds that his partner cross believes that the “body” they found in the park was connected with the terrorists, and is adamant about discovering who did it and why before New York is attacked for a third time. The cadaver, along with a very prominent suicide/homicide and a sting on a well known local drug dealer all start to seem like they could be intertwined. Along with the stresses of work, Marlowe is starting to doubt the sanity of his partner.

I found the story a bit slow at first, but it built up to a nice pace. Author James Huebner has built a strong story based in mystery. As a reader I enjoyed following narrator Detective Marlowe on his journey to find the source of the “darkness” that is threatening his city. It becomes a tumultuous journey as he strives to figure out where the many cases they are investigating might connect, and which, is the true crime. We see Marlowe grow as a person with the discoveries about his self that he makes with the help of his psychiatrist, and his own personal reflection while on and off duty. I found True Detective to be a wonderful look into the police procedures of the daily work life of a modern day New York City Police detective. This was a great story, full of twists and turns, with a surprising twist of an ending.

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