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Extended Audio Sample Red on Red: A Novel, by Edward Conlon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (357 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Edward Conlon Narrator: Mark Deakins Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A gripping debut work of crime fiction, from the author of the bestselling memoir about life as a New York City cop, Blue Blood. (“May be the best account ever written of life behind the badge.” —Time) In Red on Red, Edward Conlon tells the electrifying and suspenseful story of two NYPD detectives, Meehan and Esposito: one damaged and introspective, the other ambitious and unscrupulous. Meehan is compelled by haunting and elusive stories that defy easy resolution, while Esposito is drawn to cases of rough and ordinary combat. A fierce and unlikely friendship develops between them and plays out against a tangle of mysteries: a lonely immigrant who hangs herself in Inwood Hill Park, a serial rapist preying on upper Manhattan, a troubled Catholic schoolgirl who appears in the wrong place with uncanny regularity, and a savage gang war that erupts over a case of mistaken identity. A literary thriller about the twisted dynamic of a successful police partnership—the tests of loyalty, the necessary betrayals, the intersections of life and work—Red on Red tells an unrelenting and exciting story that captures the grittiness, complexity, ironies, and compromises of life on the job.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Conlon brings his full knowledge of police work to bear in this gritty chronicle…[He] captures the herky-jerky nature of a policeman’s daily routine as it swings between farce and tragedy, all the while detailing the way cops talk, joke, and stress. This realistic take on police work, relayed in cinematic prose, has all the earmarks of a hit.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “This expertly crafted novel will appeal to readers of literary crime masters such as George Pelecanos, Dennis Lehane, and Richard Price.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Extraordinary…Mr. Conlon, already showing a mature novelist’s skill, has produced an accomplished work full of wisdom and adrenaline, contemplation and action, pride and regret.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Conlon is a gifted writer, surefooted on this terrain, drawing on personal NYPD experience to immerse the reader in the job…[Nick] Meehan is a powerful character, realistic in his wry, existentialist approach and deeply sympathetic.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A first novel sure to make the bestseller lists. Kirkus, starred review
  • ...this expertly crafted novel will appeal to readers of literary crime masters such as George Pelecanos, Dennis Lehane, and Richard Price. Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • Conlon  brings his full knowledge of police work to bear in this gritty chronicle..[He] captures the herky-jerky nature of a policeman’s daily routine as it swings between farce and tragedy, all the while detailing the way cops talk, joke, and stress.  This realistic take on police work, relayed in cinematic prose, has all the earmarks of a hit. Booklist, starred review
  • A big, daring, psychologically complex story—passionate and poignant, pulsating with authenticity and street smarts yet lyrical and literary—this is the cop novel for everyone who reads books. Joseph Wambaugh
  • Red on Red is often brutal and often brutally funny, reaching into the depths of human malice and rising to the level of language that all good literature should achieve. Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin, winner of the National Book Award
  • Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books, Best Thriller 2011
  • A 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best First Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Beth Schneider | 2/18/2014

    " This is a solidly written novel based on a NYC police detective. For awhile it seemed as if everyone around him was going to die or experience something horrible, but by the end his luck appeared to have changed. I really enjoyed the evolution of the main character as well as his relationship with his partner. I think I may have to go back and read Conlon's first book as well. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Kristina | 2/7/2014

    " I can't read this book. I enjoyed Edward Conlon's first book Blue Blood about being a NYC detective, but I can't get through this one. It's the best example of overwriting that I've ever seen. Conlon doesn't know when to stop with a description or a scene or anything. He uses a lot of commas and slows down the pace of the book with excessive words. Stop, Conlon! I think the characters will be interesting and the plot (well, he kinda hasn't gotten to the main plot yet) seems interesting but I can't keep my interest focused. This isn't the type of book to skim through so I can't do that just to get to the meat of the book. I'm giving up and returning it so I can move onto the many other good books I still have to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Bea | 2/5/2014

    " This is a good beach read if you like Joseph Wambaugh without the humor. It is written by a real detective, is very psychological and you have to read every paragraph carefully to understand what just happened. I would have given it a 4 except for the daily mundane police bordom and depression that seeps into the story that makes the book seem longer than it is. For this genre, it is pretty good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Diana | 2/4/2014

    " Funny, sad, philosophical. Some good info on the etymology of certain words. I have the feeling that Ed Conlon really is Det. Mehan. "

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