Vice Cop: My Twenty-Year Battle with New York's Dark Side

William McCarthy, Author, Mike Mallowe, With, Bill McCarthy, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (309p) ISBN 978-0-688-08451-6
By his own account, aided here by Mallowe ( The Meat Man ), McCarthy's career with the New York City Police Department was filled with high drama from start (1966) to finish (1987). He joined the force at the height of the riots in Harlem when the need for officers was so pressing that he was assigned to the streets immediately, without attending the traditional police academy course. The next crisis he weathered followed the revelations of ``honest cop'' Frank Serpico, whose ``disclosures about police corruption ended his own police career prematurely and nearly cost him his life.'' Serpico's allegations prompted an investigation by the Knapp Commission, which found wrongdoing in the ranks of the police so widespread that it became almost impossible to tell which cops were trustworthy and which were not--a problem that was to plague McCarthy in his everyday work for years. He then spent a decade and a half with the vice squad, part of the time undercover, which culminated in the kidnapping of a subordinate by mobsters, an incident that the book reconstructs with almost unbearable suspense. McCarthy concluded his police career in what he evidently regarded as a less stressful job--as commanding officer of the NYPD bomb squad. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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