Blue on Blue by Charles Campisi

Blue on Blue by Charles CampisiBlue on Blue: An Insider’s Story of Good Cops Catching Bad Cops by Charles Campisi, Gordon Dillow
Published by Scribner on February 7th 2017
Genres: Memoir
Pages: 368
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley

Blue on Blue is a historical memoir written by a police officer who was the long-time head of the New York Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, and provides an insight into the daily lives of a regular NYPD officer in the 70s and 80s, before focusing on the investigations of corrupt and criminal police.

I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book – in some ways I was concerned that the author would be an apologist for the ‘good’ police, as distinct from those who were committing the crimes. And to some degree the author does occasionally resort to saying ‘not all cops’ which I hope would be the default position in most readers’ minds anyway.

The book is slightly problematic in that it attempts to focus on too many stories. Rather than spending time on some of the high profile cases, particularly those in recent years which I was interested in hearing about, the author provides a brief summary of the events of a large number of investigations, most of which felt pretty inconsequential. There was too little information provided about too many cases, never spending long enough on any to make me interested in them.

The author does paint interesting pictures of some of the characters and players, both in the police, and the political spectrum. It can’t have been an easy job dealing with the different pressures on him from various high places, but again I was left wanting more.

At the end of the day, I felt like the author pulled too many punches to make this book interesting enough for a general audience. I understand that this was a memoir, rather than intended as a history of police crime and corruption in New York, but I just wanted more than was on offer.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating Report
Overall: four-stars

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