Dark City Blue
by Luke Preston
Detective Tom Bishop is on the trail of dirty cops. After a takedown of an illegal pornography operation, one of the felons squeals about robbery going down the next morning involving bad cops. Bishop discovers the robbery too late, but subsequent investigation puts him on the run from members of his own department. Not knowing who to trust, beaten, shot and pursued, Bishop wades through the muck of the city to find the answers and to reveal the mysterious entity known as Justice.
Bad cop stories are familiar and this one is no exception. Here you have a regular cast of characters: bad cops, a shaky judge, junkies, prostitutes, informants, etc. It’s a basic plot with little depth because the action is so fast you barely have time to breathe.
Tom Bishop: police detective for the Victorian Police Department, smokes, lives in an apartment, father dead, father killed mother, was beaten by his father and developed a violent streak after he went to an orphanage, learned how to read from a girlfriend, worked in construction, matured after living with a cop, has a daughter, Bishop not his actual birth name.
Jane Ellison: 29, Bishop’s partner
Jim Patterson: Works for Ethical Standards (Internal Afffairs), had worked in various departments before his field work ended when injured on the job, married
Some support characters don’t have first names or just a nickname. Because of the quick action, there really wasn’t any time to delve deeper into the characters other than Bishop. Everybody else is pretty surface.
Not quite B-movie, but almost.
Short chapters. Some headed by the hour and minute. Profanity as it is a cop story but some of it sounded forced and was unnecessary. The clues and evidence come fast and the story moves along. There are flashbacks to months previous when Bishop meets his daughter. The problems I have are: I don’t know in what city the story is set. I’m assuming somewhere in Britain because of the terms used. However, later in the story, it mentions a state, but not which state. Like some of the British mysteries I’ve seen on television, the story jumps right in as if the reader is supposed to know everything about everything and everybody even if things are explained later. There is police terminology, acronyms, used that weren’t explained.