Don Winslow: Broken
Don Winslow: Broken—A collection of six short stories / novellas weaving a path through crime and law enforcement.
The collection opens with “Broken,” a tale of law enforcement brothers in New Orleans. One cuts corners when he isn’t flagrantly breaking the rules and sends a taunt to a local drug kingpin. The response is the brutal murder of his straight and narrow brother. A violent warpath of revenge follows.
The highlight of the middle stories for me was “Crime 101,” the story of a methodical jewelry thief. He is so careful in his crimes that only one detective believes the crimes are connected and even he has no clue as to the identity of the thief. When one big score comes down the path, the two are destined to meet.
“The San Diego Zoo” opens with a pistol wielding chimpanzee. Patrol Officer Chris Shea’s attempt to apprehend the armed and hairy suspect leads to a viral YouTube video and the near destruction of Shea’s law enforcement career. He attempts to redeem himself by identifying how the chimp acquired the gun.
The final story “The Last Ride” haunts me the most. A border patrol officer who grew up a struggling rancher on the Texas / Mexico border wrestles with his convictions when a young child lost in the system needs his help. His high school best friend is now a coyote smuggling people across the border with little regard for their safety, but also may be the only path to reuniting the child with her mother. The flashbacks of the values taught by his father guide his decision to risk everything.
Why don’t I rate the books I read? The simple truth is I stop reading any book I don’t like, so I never finish it and don’t count it as a book read. Thus, I like every book I complete. The rest is subjective. Whether or not you will like the book is as much about whether the subject interests you and the author’s style is one you enjoy.
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