To start with I wanted to learn more about officer Michael Dowd, I thought by buying this book, which was written by his partner Kenny Eurell and from which the documentary was made, I would have learned a little bit more about the subject but it didnt really bring anything new that the documentary covered.
In saying that I did find the book quite good, it would be a great start for someone who hasnt yet seen the documentary though.
Where to start? Well this one of those stories that only because it is well documented you would say its a great script for a movie, I mean some of it is so unbelievable that only because it is fact you would think someone made it up.
Michael Dowd was a New York Police Officer who was one of those cops who was on the take and made sure he made the most of it. Its one of those stories where going too far is an understatement but you come away with the question if I were in the same situation would I do the same?
The book itself starts off quite slow, as I mentioned earlier I wanted to know about Michael Dowd, it starts off with a young Kenny Eurrell his early life, joining the police force and then eventually partnering with Dowd. This is where it got interesting for me.
It starts with Dowd testing his partner, to see if they were “good” or “bad”. Little things at first, the first thing that jumped out at me was the break in they attended and Dowd lifting some money that was in the house of the break in victim, at this point you think, wow, but really its just setting you for what is to come.
Then we move on to the big stuff, which blurs the lines between police and gangster. The contact was made between one of the biggest dealers in New York at the time, in which Dowd and Eurrell offered their services to protect the dealer from investigations, other dealers & also to protect the drugs. After the first job, the dealer left them short of the agreed money, after Dowd complained he learned the dealer put a contract on him. And this leads to one of my favourite stories in the book, when Dowd learned of the hit on him, he hunted down the dealer, pulled him over in a routine traffic stop, the guy didnt know who Dowd was but soon found out exactly who he was and the hit was called off the next day.
That didnt deter him though and soon found another contact this time to probably the biggest cocaine dealer in New York, this is when the whole operation goes big time and ultimately out of control. They made a lot of money, took a lot of drugs & sold a lot. The book does a good job of the whole spiral downwards and the desperation that followed.
The story ends in the way you would expect in any kind of mob book, someone gets caught, turns informant and gets the lighter sentence. Eurell sets up Dowd after being caught selling coke around the city. And the subsequent aftermath, which I will say that I dont have kind of sympathy for Kenny Eurell but I do like Michael Dowd, he at the very least took his punishment as you would expect.
All in all a good book as it tells the story well, it would be good to read if you havnt seen the documentary, which I highly recommend. If you have seen the documentary then I guess you wouldnt need to read the book as it doesnt have anything new to add