Cops Lie! by Leonard Love Matlick

35683982When I was asked to review Cops Lie! I spent a bit of time on Amazon reading the reviews because I have to be honest here and say that the title didn’t appeal and neither did the cover (which you know is a big thing for me, shallow as I am).  The reviews convinced me though that it was a worth a go with three and four-star ratings and promises of a gritty book about dirty cops. 

There is definitely grit in this book.  The story revolves around two honest cops in a sea of police officers on the take or up to no good, shaking down drug dealers and making false arrests.  There is a reference in the book to Serpico and I wonder if that is what the author was trying to do, tell a similar story. 

Unfortunately, for me (and I love Serpico), it didn’t work because the officers that were supposed to be the good guys seemed to be doing a lot of the things that the bad guys were doing, and ignoring a lot of the bad they did see.  I struggled with the main characters – Tony and Longo – as neither were fully drawn to me.  I couldn’t picture them as they went about their business, see what they were wearing, how they looked.  I knew what they were thinking but I didn’t understand their motivations.     

The other thing that bothered me was that there is a lot of violence and a lot of sex in the book and, for me, they distracted me from the story.  Every time the story started to pick up there was a break for one of the officers to have sex or stop a group of other cops randomly beating someone up.  I felt like I was in Grand Theft Auto rather than a story about police corruption.  I also felt like I was suffering from deja-vu as the scenes were repetitive; this was a problem with me throughout – not only in the scenes but the language.  I am sure there were a couple of points where the text was identical or as close to. 

Neither sex or violence bother me in books, though they aren’t my first choice, but here the sex did make me uncomfortable because I couldn’t quite see the point and because of how the women having the sex were portrayed.  They weren’t people but things to be used and I didn’t like that at all.  I didn’t like the way the characters talked about women or behaved towards them.  If I had bought this book, I would have put it down.  As it was a review copy I did finish it but it was a slog.  I am sorry to say I can’t recommend it – just not for me.
not-for-me
7 comments
  1. I can guess I wouldn’t like this book, either. I like when I can invest in one or more of the characters, or really see the motivations of the bad ones. Thanks for sharing!

    1. No I don’t think you would. It wasn’t a great read.

  2. I’m so happy to see this post, not happy because you didn’t enjoy it but happy that I’m not alone in the struggle with it, haha. I started it a few days ago and just couldn’t get into it so I put it down, and I was debating whether or not to try again with it as it’s a review copy but after hearing your thoughts, I don’t think I will. There’s so many other books I’m excited to read…

    1. No it was a really hard read. I feel bad but I wouldn’t recommend anyone picking it up ☹️

  3. Hm… the cover didn’t do it for me, either. I think you’re a hero for trudging through it. I have stopped reading a couple of review copies that were, as far as I was concerned, no-go areas…

    1. I did wonder about whether to finish but the publicist was so lovely i didn’t want to let her down.

      1. You are so nice!

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