This is a big book, 559 pages with SMALL text, which is why I included it for the Chunkster Challenge. I also read it for Annie's What's in a Name Challenge and the Nonfiction 5.
The author is a NYPD officer and we follow him from the Academy through getting his Detective badge. He works in the Bronx mainly in the public housing division. Needless to say, the author has seen some shit over the years. He has seen what people do to each other. Better him than me. Most of the time, he worked in Narcotics...setting up buys, etc. There is some interesting material about what it was like in Manhattan on 9/11.
What really struck me from learning about what it's like being a cop is how hard it is dealing with the beaurocracy...sorry I just can't figure out how to spell that @%^&*( word. Captains, Sargeants, etc. are constantly interfering with their work and preventing them from making arrests and "sting" operations. One day, the author recalled that he woke up and didn't want to go to work...his boss was an ass. When he realized he had a root canal and didn't have to go in, he was thrilled. That was the moment he decided to transfer to a new division. Things did get better.
Our author is no "ordinary" officer, however. Before NYPD, he got a degree in English from Harvard. He does write a good book. If you want to learn about what it's really like to be a big city cop, this is an excellent book. I didn't fall in love with it the way I did David Simon's Homicide, however. But, Officer Conlon did not work with murder most of the time, so he had different material to work with. This is a good read.