Cover Image: Blue Like Me

Blue Like Me

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Member Reviews

Outstanding book. It has everything a private investigator story needs Trevor Finnegan is great, Pop Finnegan brings something troubling yet wonderful...actually so does Trevor :-)
Highly recommended
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BLUE LIKE ME is the second instalment in Aaron Philip Clark’s contemporary, adult TREVOR FINNEGAN murder, mystery, thriller series focusing on former LAPD Detective turned PI Trevor Finnegan. BLUE LIKE ME can be read as a stand alone but for back story and cohesion, I recommend reading book one UNDER COLOR OF LAW as most of the events of Blue Like Me are as of a direct result from the previous instalment.

NOTE: Due to the nature of the story line premise, there may be triggers for more sensitive readers.

Told from first person perspective (Trevor) BLUE LIKE ME is set in 2016, and  follows former LAPD Detective turned PI Trevor Finnegan as he is tasked with tailing two LAPD police officers thought to be involved in $ex trafficking crimes but a new assignment finds Trevor following two more detectives, detective of whom he has  personal  knowledge but all does not go according to plan when a gunman kills one of Trevor’s targets, and injures the other while on the run. Trevor knows that to get involved means facing the wrath of the department for which he once worked, a department that labelled our hero, just another dirty cop. As Trevor works in tandem with injured LAPD Detective Sally Munoz, secrets begin to reveal a connection to a case long thought buried and gone. While his life as a PI is getting more dangerous and dark, his personal life begins to spiral out of control.

Trevor Finnegan lost his job as a detective two years earlier in the wake a scandal, accountability in law enforcement, and the death of a murdered black academy cadet. Fast forward to present day, Trevor now works as a private investigator but quickly discovers many of his targets are members of the LAPD, men and women for whom he once worked. From dirty cops to murder, evidence tampering and bribery, secrets and lies, Trevor uncovers a trail dating back several decades, decades in which time served resulted in the death of a possible innocent man.

BLUE LIKE ME is a gritty and impassioned story of desperation and reprisal, power and control, betrayal and injustice, exposure and lies. The premise is tragic and dramatic; the characters are desperate, determined and broken. 




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Thank you NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the copy of Blue Like Me. I learned about this book from a Facebook Live with Mystery and Thriller Mavens and was intrigued by the premise of an ex-cop looking into dirty cops. It was an engaging conversation, and I requested the book right away and also bought a copy in support of the author. I was so glad I did, because it was a dynamite book. 
The author, Aaron Phillip Clark, is a screenwriter, and it shows in the well-paced writing that really brings the characters to life. I really liked how Finn’s relationships were an important part of his story and how they felt realistic. I really want to read the first book in the series to get more of the backstory. Blue Like Me was much more than your standard cop drama, the search for the killer actually took a backseat to some of the other stories that all came together in a satisfying conclusion. I can’t wait for the next book in this series to see what happens next.
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A dark and gritty thriller filled with deeply flawed, complex characters. For me, the intrigue and drama were as driven by Finn's interpersonal relationships as the crime investigation itself. Adding to the overall story, the descriptions and sense of LA is present in every scene. For fans of Bosch, this is a great series to get in early on.
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I already had this author’s first book in this series in my TBR pile when I saw this book was available on NetGalley, so I snagged it and started reading the first installment to get caught up.

In the first book, Under Color of Law, we are introduced to LAPD homicide detective Trevor Finnegan, who is called to the scene of a dead young black man. It turns out he was a police recruit, and over the course of the investigation, Finn discovers there may be a link between this case and an unsolved case going back to his own days as a rookie officer—a case that not only set the trajectory for his career, but also continues to haunt Finn. Admitting his own culpability could ruin not only his career, but the careers of the more senior officers involved in that case, and they will do anything to avoid the truth from coming out.

The first book really sets the stage for this second installment, where Finn is now working as a private investigator for an attorney investigating police corruption within the LAPD. While assigned to surveil two narcotics detectives, Finn realizes one is his ex-partner, Sally, then witnesses the other detective get shot by a gunman who flees on a motorcycle. Finn gives chase on foot, then quickly leaves the scene to avoid having to explain to Sally why he was there and to avoid being questioned by the police, but Sally shows up at his door anyway, wanting to know if he can identify the shooter. Playing the ex-partner card, she convinces a reluctant Finn to help her, even though it is apparent that Sally isn’t thinking clearly and her behavior is becoming increasingly reckless and desperate.

Set around the time of the 2016 election, the author does a tremendous job of exploring the harsh reality of racism and police corruption. It is an intensely layered and provocative series thus far, and I for one cannot wait to see how Clark weaves the overwhelming racism, xenophobia, and police brutality that seemed to reach an apex following the 2016 elections, the pandemic, BLM, and the 2020 elections into the next installment.

Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley kindly provided me an ARC of this book, which I have read and reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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I love a great thriller and this one ticked all the boxes for me. 
A retired cop is on the run from the spotlight and on a mission to reveal the actual killer of a LAPD’s officer. But not everything is as easy as it may seem. Finn will become an eyewitness without his will and from now on, things escalate quickly. 

It’s a cat and mouse race , like hiding and seeking who the real person is behind everything and more over, why was Riley killer. Even if Munoz won’t be of much help as he has his own secrets to keep. 

I loved this book. It’s suspenseful and full of intriguing characters and moments when I thought I knew what’s coming next but I was so wrong. 

The author has created a world where the action is playing just like a movie, and that makes total sense because after reading the book, I actually checked the publisher’s note when we find out that the author is a big name as a screenplay writer for Hollywood. 

I’m looking forward to see this book on the big or small screen because it deserves its own place along with the big ones out there. 

Perfectly crafted, an intriguing and suspenseful book that will keep you up way to long on the night. 

🆓📖Very grateful to the publisher for my review copy through NetGalley
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This book was alright for me, not good, but not bad, middle of the line. I am finding myself at a lose what to write about it because I’ve already moved on in the short amount of time between finishing and getting to my laptop.
Trevor Finnegan became a PI after an injury derailed his police career, now he works to put away corrupt cops. One evening he trails two potentially crooked cops and one gets murdered right in front of him. The cop that didn’t get murdered was his ex-partner Munoz. Munoz needs Finnegan’s help to solve the murder. When someone close to Finnegan is murdered the cases seem to be connected and Finnegan works to uncover the past that refuses to stay buried.
This book works well if you are really into cop drama mysteries. This one was just a little too cop technical for me, while I set expectations around it being a cop drama, and I watch plenty on tv, this one just seemed over the top. Now, I read the author is a screenwriter, and let me say – I would 100% watch this tv show. There is only so much you can do in a novel. In fact can someone please make this into a tv show? I’m seriously in need of another tv drama atm.
Thank you so much to @netgalley and the publisher, Thomas & Mercer for my advanced e-copy in exchange for this honest review.
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Trevor Finnegan is now working undercover to bring down cops, but after being caught in crossfire when an officer is killed, he starts to wonder who it is that's hiring him for these jobs. He sets about looking for the cop killer alongside his former LAPD partner to uncover a truth they are still unready to face.

There is something run of the mill to this series that I feel like Clark is above based on the other work I've read, but sometimes things come down to a business decision. I know the series began as using his own experiences from training to become an officer, but I don't think the series quite says enough about it or it's done in tiny ways so as not to alienate your casual reader.

Again, one of my criticisms of the first novel was the way Finn's relationships were handled and they are pretty much brushed aside for the meat of the book as he seeks out the killer. The ways in which cases can warp somebody has been done better by others and it never quite reaches a point of fully spinning out even where maybe it should.
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A high-octane thriller with twists and turns that leave you reeling. A hard to put down, well written tense and dark story that has a realistic feel. Highly recommend five star read.
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Blue Like Me is a gritty, dark and gripping crime thriller featuring flawed characters, complex relationships and facing your past head-on.  Aaron Philip Clark has delivered a second straight compelling novel in this series that will appeal to fans of Michael Connelly and Raymond Chandler.

Trevor “Finn” Finnegan is now a private investigator, working with a law firm to catch dirty cops in the act.  As a former LAPD detective who separated from the department under less than friendly terms, he’s perfectly suited for the role.  While conducting surveillance on his latest job, he comes across his ex-partner Sally Munoz and another detective doing something potentially shady.  All doubt is erased when gunfire erupts, wounding Finn’s ex-partner and killing the other detective.  Meanwhile, Finn’s dear friend and ex-LAPD detective turns up dead.  Needing, but not wanting, each other’s help, Finn and Sally band together to investigate possible connections between the murders.  What they uncover, the secrets that come to light, and the past actions they must reckon with, will change their lives forever.  

While the main crime being investigated is powerful, intriguing and disturbing, it’s the intricacies of Finn’s interpersonal relationships and his personal struggle to be a better man that makes Blue Like Me stand out.  He seems to have a problematic relationship with everyone - his aging and alcoholic father, his concerned girlfriend, his re-emerging ex-girlfriend, his enigmatic business partner, his hostile ex-partner and, frankly, the entire LAPD.  But Finn is aware of his shortcomings and his contribution to the difficult nature of his interactions with these individuals, and he’s shown to care about actively working to repair the damage.  The only questions are whether the job will always get in the way and if it’ll make him emotionally unavailable to those who he cares about.  Questions that will be fascinating to see him attempt to answer in subsequent editions of this budding series.

If you like crime noir, then this Blue Like Me is for you and I recommend going back and reading the first book in the series as well (Under Color Of Law), though you don’t have to have read the previous novel to enjoy this book.  It stands up on its own merit, providing an absorbing ride through the dirty streets of LA and a deep dive into the psyche of an imperfect but hopeful man.  Looking forward to seeing how Finn continues to develop going forward.
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Blue Like Me is the second book in the Trevor Finnegan series by Aaron Philip Clark. It's been almost a year but I remember the fictional man of color I fell in like with named Finn. The intellectual rookie cop is now former detective/PI. His new occupation is catching LAPD's worst in the act. While on surveillance, he witnesses a presumed dirty cop be killed and his ex-partner wounded by gunshots. Then Finn's Uncle is murdered in what seems to be a connection. The investigation just turned deadly!

Oh, that's not all! Finn is also making an effort to spend more quality time with his father, prepare for a 6-month stay in France, domestic issues with girlfriend and become acquainted with a new person in his life. Whew—Finn has a lot going on!

Blue Like Me is suspense at its best! I was shocked at the end of almost every long chapter. Jaw dropped or saying aloud, "Whaaaaaat?!" I've read a ton of mystery in my day so plot twists rarely faze me. But Aaron Philip Clark managed to surprise me a couple times within these 250+ pages. At the same time, he fleshed out the main character Finn a little bit more in this second installment, dropping more personality hints and backstory along the way. I just wish it focused more on a certain storyline. 

While Blue Like Me is the second book in the stories and I highly recommend reading Under Color of Law first, the author gives enough context clues for this to be read as a standalone. The Trevor Finnegan series is a winner...periodt!

Happy Early Pub Day, Aaron Philip Clark! Blue Like Me will be available Tuesday, November 8.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins. ~LiteraryMarie
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Trevor Finnegan was a detective with the LAPD, but his investigation into the suspicious death of an African-American LAPD trainee threw open quite a few doors, aired a lot of bad laundry, revealed a few skeletons, put one officer on the run from a murder charge, and ended Finn's career. As Under Color of Law ended Finn found a new life as a private detective investigating dirty cops for a lawyer.

As the second book in the series opens, Finn is still working that job, tailing cops who abuse their powers and snapping pictures of them doing bad things. Bergman isn't prosecuting them yet; he seems to be either stockpiling information or forwarding it on to persons unknown for internal proceedings. Finn's tired of being kept in the dark and fed lines of bullshit like a mushroom, so now he pushes back. Of course, he's still doing the job.

All of this turns upside down when the next pair of cops he's tailing are revealed to be his former partner Sally Munoz and her current partner Martin Riley. While he's taking pics, a gunman arrives, puts Riley down, wounds Munoz and takes off. Finn gives chase, but he's no match for the motorcycle getaway vehicle the gunman has waiting. When Munoz comes to him, will he choose to sit by or maybe help out an old friend who might also be dirty as hell?

As he wrestles with questions about who could have targeted Riley for murder, Finn discovers that his personal life has entered a kind of crisis as well. His steady girlfriend Sarada is excited for them to move to France while she trains at the prestigious École de Pâtisserie de France, and Finn has been eager to accompany her. However, his ex-girlfriend Tori shows back up in his life with a secret that will change his relationship and life forever.

Meanwhile, his Dad's drinking is getting worse. To the point where the man is unable to recognize his own son, pulling a gun and shouting for his dead wife to call the police after catching Finn stumbling in for a little shuteye. While dealing with this trauma, Finn discovers that his dad's old friend, Uncle Hill may have been abusing his powers both as an agent of the FBI as well as his friendship with the old man. Further, Hill and Finn's dad are somehow tied into the Riley slaying …

As well, police officer on the run Amanda "Boston" Walsh is still out there. She's on the FBI's most wanted list, but they seem incapable of locating her. But she's bound to turn up like a bad penny, and she's got an ax to grind … maybe on Finn's neck. 

Aaron Philip Clark's first Trevor Finnegan novel was a meaty exploration of a cop protagonist's work and private lives. In that book, it seemed like Finn was pitted against overwhelming odds and situations. Blue Like Me continues that trend, offering some terrific opportunities for drama of many different varieties. Clark keeps us turning the pages by exposing his protagonist to all kinds of challenges and giving us a solid look at Finn's multi-faceted life. He's not just a detective who gets pulled into cases that might relate to his family the way that Gar Anthony Haywood's investigator Aaron Gunner does in a book like Good Man Gone Bad. No, Finn's life and family is rife with dramas of its own, some that can be investigated like crimes and some that come with no playbook of any kind. Still, Finn is a capable guy, a flawed hero we can get behind and follow around through the many twists and turns his life offers. And since this is a thriller, there are plenty. 

It is to Clark's credit that he manages to handle these many layers of plots and subplots without ever once straining our credibility. Blue Like Me is an engaging read, and a meaty novel overflowing with deftly written touches and unexpected revelations. It's a book that surprises us and yet which is clever enough to make those twists seem almost inevitable once we've encountered them. Like a well-made clock, the parts work together nicely, fitted with a clockmaker's precision.

The core crisis for Blue Like Me is the challenges surrounding making promises and then keeping them. Many of the situations Finn comes up against this time around tackle that theme. The author tackles this theme through a variety of angles and lenses. The police department's duty to the people they protect and serve, a cop's responsibility to a partner, a boyfriend's responsibility to his significant other, a father's duty to his child, husband's promises to their wives (and vice versa), the promises friends make with each other, and more.

The book manages to be a self-contained piece as well as part of a series. It can easily be read without knowledge of Under Color of Law and the reader will get what's going on. Having experience with the prior novel adds flesh to the bones, of course. The book is pretty well contained, wrapping up many of its plot threads by the time the ending arrives. However, there are a few bits left unresolved, and a big old cliffhanger of a final sequence that acts as what I presume to be a lead in to the next book in the series. It's a doozy of a lead, involving a missing person, and I look forward to seeing how Finn handles this next mystery.

And that is one of the strengths of the book. It manages to continue Finn's story, leaving us in a place we could not easily predict from the opening pages. This is a series that is not locked into the episodic television sense of the term. Both of the books so far have balanced mystery plots as well as life dramas along with a good amount of social awareness. However, Finn's career has been taking interesting shape as the books go along. And yet, he will always be sympathetic to the badge—it was his driving goal before, and as this book's title suggests, he's still a cop despite not working for the department. However, Blue Like Me takes the idea one step further, giving us a character who is aligned with the sense of moral decency and justice instead of just Doing The Job. Finn is in this for the long haul, and I am too.

Blue Like Me is a thoughtful and provocative read. It grapples with some interesting moral dilemmas, it presents corrupt official as human beings, and it gives us a hero worth investing our hopes in. This is the kind of prose and characters Walter Mosley has made a nice career out of. However, Aaron Philip Clark is not retreading anyone's terrain. He continues to give us a quirky, personal spin on these people, this world, and these situations.
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Clark’s extra dark, Training Day (2001) dark, slice of Los Angeles where the cops may be dirty, but the streets are choked with dangerous criminals leaps back a generation to connect the backstory of private investigator Trevor Finnegan to the framing of an innocent man for the murder of a police officer.

The year is 2016, based on the subtle historical references, and the setting is Los Angeles. Disgraced (possibly wrongly) ex-LAPD detective Trevor Finnegan, now a private investigator for a Los Angeles attorney, draws an assignment to surveil two LAPD narcotics detectives. But the attorney won’t tell him why. One detective was Finnegan’s former partner when he was in LAPD, Sally Munoz. The assignment ends with Finnegan witnessing someone shooting the detectives at Venice Beach, wounding Munoz and killing her partner. Finnegan pursues the shooter on foot, but the suspect gets away on a motorcycle after shooting at him. Not wanting his ex-partner to learn he was surveilling her and her partner, Finnegan leaves the scene before the cops arrive to avoid getting questioned. But later, Munoz shows up at his door demanding to know whether Finnegan saw the shooter, playing their former partnership card. “You were once blue like me.” Finnegan tells her part of the story, careful to hide the real reason he was present at Venice Beach when the shooting happened. Munoz tells him she knows who was behind the killing of her partner and asks him to go with her to Malibu to confront the person. Finnegan is reluctant, especially after realizing his ex-partner is on the ragged edge of losing control. But Munoz persuades him. Once they arrive and Munoz confronts the woman, a drug dealer, about the shooting, Finnegan realizes his former partner is keeping something from him. That, along with her erratic behavior, makes him feel even more uneasy about trying to help her. But old loyalties die hard. He can’t bring himself to turn his back on her. While Finnegan struggles with the dilemma, another murder happens. This time someone murders an old family friend who is almost a second father to Finnegan, an FBI agent who was an LAPD cop at the same time as Trevor’s father. Suspecting the person who murdered his friend is the same person who killed Munoz’s partner, Trevor becomes more motivated to help her find the killer. But when the killer calls Finnegan and warns him off, threatening to kill him if he continues with the investigation, it becomes a question of whether he will survive long enough to find the killer. Running in the background of the main plot is an intriguing subplot involving the circumstances that forced Finnegan out of the LAPD under a cloud, and the person responsible for it. When I reached that point in the novel, I regretted a little not reading Under Color of Law (2021), the first book in the series before reading this one to learn more about Finnegan’s backstory. Still, Clark gives enough details about the past in this second book that I never felt lost.

I found much to like about this book. First, it’s hard-boiled all the way in the tradition of Hammett and Chandler. It ticks all the boxes with deeply flawed characters, a detective who is emotionally involved in the investigation, the harsh realities of life in a big city setting that isn’t only a backdrop, but where these realities bleed into the case and becoming a major part of the story, and a corrupt world that allowed the crimes to happen in the first place. Clark uses his crime investigation plot as a vehicle for examining issues of racism, classism, and violence in the city, the bigger issues of corruption that can’t be solved with the end of the story.

Clark has a very direct and explicit style of writing, which I found smooth as glass and enjoyed. The plot was both imaginative and ambitious. Trevor Finnegan is an interesting and appealing main character, easy to feel empathy for. But besides Finnegan, Clark offers us a host of other true-to-life, well-drawn, interesting characters, both good and bad.

An extra dark slice of Los Angeles describes Blue Like Me by Aaron Philip Clark. It’s a gripping and intense crime thriller, and a completely unnuanced hard-boiled parable on policing and corrupt cops.

I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley used for this review, which represents my honest opinions.
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4. 5 Stars

This is not the kind of book that I normally pick up. I'm usually more into fantasy and romance than crime thrillers, but I wanted a change of pace from what I normally read and I'm happy to say that this book did not disappoint.

This is the second book in a series that follows Trevor Finnegan, an ex-LAPD detective turned private investigator. I'll preface this review by saying this: I did not read the first book in the series. That being said, having come into the series with the second book, I didn't feel lost at all and I really appreciate that. From the very beginning, I understood who the characters were and (to an extent) what they'd been through in the first book from sheer context alone. I felt like the characters had history even though I hadn't witnessed it for myself, and I liked that. 

Which is another thing that I enjoyed with this book -- the characters all had depth and dimension to them. I didn't feel like the characters were boring or one-dimensional. Trevor had troubles he was trying to work out with his girlfriend, his father, his ex-partner on the force, and the new addition of the woman who had his child in secret, all while trying to discover who murdered the cop he was investigating. In every scene though, he had a clear personality and motivations for his actions. That made me want to root for him. Even when his actions went against what I, personally, would suggest, I could be annoyed with the character instead of the author for writing it. And I don't know if that's just a me problem, but I felt it was worth noting lol. The writing in this book is done really well.

As I mentioned before, this is the second book in the series. And while this book feels complete on its own, there were also things that were set up for Book 3 that got me curious about what's to come next for Trevor Finnegan.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. The only things I would say could have been better for me, were the lack of communication between the characters sometimes (but that's just a personal preference), and there were a lot of moving parts at times. I got a little lost with some references to characters who hadn't been mentioned in a while. That could be because I didn't read Book 1 in the series, but it wasn't anything that kept me from enjoying the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crime thrillers or is looking to get into them. As my first time reading in that genre, I had a great time with this book and felt like this was a great way to break into the genre.
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A mystery that will keep the reader herrings...friendship...relationships...intrigue and mystery...this writer is talented at writing a story that keeps the interest of the reader.  This book was sent to me by Netgalley for review.  Thanks to the publisher for the electronic copy.  The protagonist is likable and lifelike...this fiction reads like nonfiction, at times.
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This was a good story, with a fast paced plot that held my interest throughout.  Would recommend to others!
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Blue Like Me
by Aaron Philip Clark
4 Stars

Detective murder mystery.

Ex-cop, now private investigator Trevor Finnegan investigates crooked cops, when he witnesses a police officer gunned down and his former partner shot. Unwittingly he is drawn into a mystery that digs into his and his families past.

This enthralling murder mystery flows with action and drama. The storyline is predictable, however the characters are well defined. 

The ending drags on, but in doing so sets up for a sequel.

A brutal homicide sets an ex-cop and his former partner on the hunt for an enigmatic killer in a gripping thriller by the author of Under Color of Law.

This title has been reviewed by 

This title was provided by Netgalley and the publisher in return for an open and honest review.

#BlueLikeMe	#NetGalley
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This book was a good read, it had suspense, intrigue and a twisted story! at times felt all over the place to me?! I guess?! I got the storyline and where it was going but I did get lost in spots! But it was worth reading! Just not INE of my top favorites! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me!
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