Is a corrupt hero a hero?

Only some of us are drawn to the ancient tale of the heroic-but-corrupt cop, but those of who are, can never get enough. I remember Richard Gere in Internal Affairs, Dudley Smith in James Ellroy’s LA quartet, perhaps even Woody Harrelson’s role in True Detective. Well, the ultimate instalment has just been released as a novel, namely Don Winslow’s The Force. I’ve seen it criticised as badly written, which is the opposite to the truth, or as too violent, which misses the point. It’s crude, savage and profane, but the plot blisters and underneath beats a strange kind of heart. Read it for a blast but also brutal enlightenment.

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