Just as with his remarkable military novels, millions of readers have been captured by the rich characters and vivid realism of W. E. B. Griffin’s police dramas. “Griffin has the knack,” writes The Philadelphia Inquirer. He “sets his novel before you in short, fierce, stop-for-nothing scenes. Before you know it, you’ve gobbled it up.”
Now, in Final Justice, Detective Matt Payne of the Philadelphia police department—newly promoted to sergeant and assigned to Homicide—finds himself in the middle of three major assignments. The first case, a fatal shooting at a fast-food restaurant, seems simple, but rapidly becomes complicated. The second, a rape that tumbled into murder, begins complicated and only gets more so, as it becomes apparent that the crime may be part of a disturbing, and escalating, pattern. The third is the most bizarre, as Payne becomes involved with a local figure who long ago fled the country, leaving behind the mummified body of his girlfriend in a trunk. Ever since, the murderer has been sending taunting postcards from his safe haven—but all that may be about to change.
Weaving in and around this already hectic schedule are the visit to Philadelphia of the self-absorbed star of a series of improbable police movies, who wants Payne to show him “the real stuff,” and the appearance in Payne’s life of two very different women. Either one of them alone would be enough to set his head spinning, but together . . . this might be the most complicating thing of all.
Filled with color and detail and plots as real as the headlines, this is a riveting novel of the men and women who put their lives on the line, from the cop on the beat to the commissioner himself. It’s a story of fears, dangers, courage, loyalty, and genuine heroism: storytelling at its best.
If God is truly in the details, then Griffin must be the pope of police procedurals. Want to know what paragraph of the Pennsylvania Criminal Code you violate if you use a flashing blue light attached to your car to get through traffic? Or what the chances are of a patrolman or detective passing the Philadelphia Police Department's exam for promotion to sergeant? Or what happens to the badge worn on the chest of an officer killed in action, after the funeral? All of this and much, much more is revealed in the eighth data-heavy entry in Griffin's Badge of Honor series (The Murderers, The Investigators, etc.). What's even more amazing is that all these factoids don't slow down the story's considerable momentum for a minute. Nor do they keep Griffin's gritty cops from convincing us of their individuality. Matt Payne, a detective with the Philadelphia police force, has just been promoted and transferred to Homicide. The cases he gets during his first few days at the post are a rich mix of mayhem entangling all strata of Philadelphia society: an apparently simple shooting in a fast food outlet that turns out to be almost unsolvable; a savage rape and murder with some serious anti-cop political overtones; an extradition case involving a fugitive murderer from France; and, for comic relief, the supervision of a visiting movie star who wants to make his police pictures more authentic. What holds it all together is Griffin's infectious respect for and fascination with police work.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Love the men in blue series. This is the best one I've read can't wait for the follow up. So anxious to see what Matt Payne decides about being a cop and how they handle the return of Mr. Festung
Half Hearted Writing So-So story Line
MR Griffin has in the past been criticized for his use of ‘recycling to expand’ his story This recent novel is no exception to the Griffin Method of using 20 or so pages from a previous story to fill space recapping a character’s story.
There are numerous questions from this novel. A 6 month period in story line jumps nearly 5 years or more in technology , equipment and surroundings. Philadelphia has a new Mayor, a new Police Commissioner, new office space, and all the characters are also shiny and improved.
Here Mr Griffin takes us into human trafficking, narcotics, and the Philly police Efforts to solve crimes committed in conjunction with both. Naturally, Matt Payne is centrally in the thick of all the action.
Unfortunately the story flow is slowed considerably by irrelevant side information which fills pages, but does not really contribute.
It is a good read for a rainy weekend but is no where near the really good efforts of previous Griffin offerings in this story line