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Red on Red
Edward Conlon

Spiegel & Grau
March 20, 2012 / ISBN 978-0385519182

Reviewed by Bob Walch

NYPD Detective Nick Meehan and his new partner, Esposito, would not appear at first glance to be the ideal investigative team. But opposites do attract. They form a solid friendship and become quite effective on the streets of upper Manhattan.

It is a good thing the duo works so well together because their case load is quite ridiculous. There's a gang war that needs defusing, the apparent suicide of a lonely immigrant in a neighborhood park, a serial rapist preying on the city's young women and a wayward Catholic girl who always manages to be in the wrong place at the right time and might also be the victim of abuse. That's a lot for just two detectives, no matter how good they are, to deal with.

I have to admit that I wasn't thrilled with this novel. First, it was a little too psychological for my liking. We spent far too much time in one of the protagonist's head. That's all fine and dandy but not at the expense of the story.

Another problem was the plot itself. Meehan and Esposito have too much on their plates. I would much rather read a thriller with a central problem and no more than one back story rather than one offering a potpourri of crime as this one does.

I'd have to give "Red on Red" a thumbs down. There are too many really good novels out there to spend time with a marginally successful one!

Reviewed 2012