Looking for books about dirty cops
October 27, 2010 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Looking for books about dirty cops.

I've been watching 'The Shield' and love Vic Mackey. I want to read more about dirty cops and how they do what they do.

I'm mostly interested in nonfiction books or articles, but fiction that describes their methods and inner workings in detail should also work.

posted by reenum to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Irvine Welsh's Filth.
posted by griphus at 8:35 AM on October 27, 2010

Joseph Wambaugh is your man. His police officer characters are all too human.
posted by bearwife at 8:37 AM on October 27, 2010

Best answer: Serpico
posted by Thorzdad at 8:38 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I remembered this article from Maxim, about the guys who inspired The Shield.

posted by cali59 at 8:39 AM on October 27, 2010

Anything about Frank Serpico would be square in there if you don't mind the slightly dated nature of it.
posted by Gucky at 8:39 AM on October 27, 2010

2nding Wambaugh. I found "The Choirboys" to be riveting, and it dealt with every aspect of cop life from the streets, to careers, to city politics.
posted by Gilbert at 8:43 AM on October 27, 2010

Joseph Wambaugh is an ex-cop who became an author. The Choir Boys, The Onion Field, Lines and Shadows, The New Centurions. Some fiction, some non-fiction. Lots of dirty cops.

On preview, I guess I'm thirding Waumbaugh.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:48 AM on October 27, 2010

Rush by Kim Wozencraft
"Wozencraft based the novel Rush on events in her real life although she sold it as fiction, and changed the names of the characters. Wozencraft and her partner, later her husband, Creig Matthews, served time in federal prison for civil rights violations as a result of false drug arrests they made in Tyler, Texas in the late 1970s depicted in Rush.
posted by mattbucher at 8:52 AM on October 27, 2010

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson.
posted by Toekneesan at 9:08 AM on October 27, 2010

Best answer: I would have called the Serpico affair dated, too-- until I read this amazing article in the NYTimes earlier this year.
posted by jamjam at 9:24 AM on October 27, 2010

Best answer: How about Brotherhoods and Friends of the Family, about the two NYPD detectives who moonlighted as Mafia hit men.
posted by Andrew Galarneau at 9:36 AM on October 27, 2010

Best answer: Buddy Boys by Mike McAlary
posted by mlis at 9:53 AM on October 27, 2010

Best answer: To Serve and Collect is a great history of dirty Chicago cops.
posted by Wink Ricketts at 9:55 AM on October 27, 2010

David Peace's Red Riding quartet.
posted by Abiezer at 10:02 AM on October 27, 2010

Best answer: One of my favorites is The Cops Are Robbers by Gerald W. Clemente. Clemente is a former MDC cop who, as part of a crew of dirty cops and other criminals, looted a bank vault in Medford, MA over a holiday weekend. His involvement in stealing and selling MDC (Metropolitan District Commission) police exams led directly to the dismantling of the MDC force, a mess that's also covered in the book. It's not particularly well written, but Clemente's outrage at being treated like a perp is quite lulzy, and it's a fast read. If you can filter out the obvious score settling and self-serving spin, you can find some pretty frank and shocking tales of all the various evils that rogue Mass cops were up to in the '70s and '80s. It's been out of print for a while, and Amazon is showing ridiculous prices for used copies, but I got one on eBay a few years back for a couple of bucks.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 10:02 AM on October 27, 2010

Cops and Robbers by Donald Westlake - though their dirty is nonviolent and arguably victimless.

More entertainment than information, but possibly worth your time.
posted by IndigoJones at 10:50 AM on October 27, 2010

The Innocent Man by John Grisham is a true story in which the police frame four innocent men for two different murders, on the basis of 'dream confessions'. Two of them are still in prison.
posted by essexjan at 11:30 AM on October 27, 2010

Best answer: I would recommend Boyos by Richard Marinick who is a reformed armed robber who writes from a position of intimate knowledge. He also advised the production of The Departed.
posted by london302 at 3:58 PM on October 27, 2010

« Older dog, i am not yet the man   |   Was Amy Poehler in a Wendy's ad? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.