This gives a realistic view of the US police force in the late 80's and 90's.
It starts with a Fresh Officer straight out of the Academy and having to mix with experienced guys.
Later on it shows him as a hardened officer struggling with all his experiences.
A really good read.
Dave Beckett is a probationary police officer in the West Valley Police Department, California in 1979. His hope is to survive the six month period to become a full fledged officer. Unfortunately, cases he was involved in included four deaths which resulted increased visibility in the department and the displeasure of some of the officers.
Forward nine years and Dave is now a homicide detective in San Bernardino. When he visits a former mentor who is in jail on a murder conviction, the mentor asks Dave to investigate the wrongful conviction. As Dave's investigation circles back to cases he handled as a probationary officer, he realizes that the cases were not investigated sufficiently - what did he miss? Is a man sitting in jail for a murder he didn't commit?
Dave Becket's experiences in the West Valley Police Department were quite interesting. I enjoyed seeing how a rookie cop tries to survive his probationary period. The other cops don't come across so well. Dave moves on to the San Bernadino Sheriff's Department and loses his innocence. That is common for police officers, but I had higher hopes for Dave.
Author David Putnam uses his own experiences to tell Part One of the story. Part Two is more intricate and involves solving a murder. Putnam creates a fascinating cop landscape with some surprises. All in all, the cumbersome title A Fearsome Moonlight Black leads to a great reading experience.
Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC. I recommend it!
Was not my cup of tea. I think if it would have been all police stories without the romance it would have been better, but the romance was just way too cheesy and fake.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s about a cop from the beginning of his career as a rookie to a detective years lasted. We encounter some of his memorable calls and including his romance, but not too much of that, it’s mostly the cop stuff and different cops he works with. It gets harder and harder to put down as it gets more into the mysteries and very exciting and suspenseful at the end. Very enjoyable book and will certainly look to read more of David Putnam!
An excellent book, the evolution of a man from rookie to detective. Gripping, well plotted, and entertaining.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
The first half of this book is an exhilarating, extended ride-along with a rookie cop in a small Southern California town. The second half is a fast-paced murder mystery thriller, featuring that same rookie cop who, 8 years later, is now a seasoned homicide detective. The whole is a compelling, authentic depiction of life and law enforcement in the late 1970s and the 1980s which also illustrates how the professional and personal lives of a cop are inextricably entangled. A first rate read which is highly recommended.
This book reads like a memoir, and at the end of the book, the author’s notes state that it is essentially his memoir based on his early years as a policeman with an added fictional love interest. Putnam does a good job getting into the mindset of a 21-year-old rookie cop working the beat in a small Southern California town. As the protagonist, David Becket, ages, the reader sees the effects his career has on him and his family. After over-reaching his job description, he becomes a “bone detective” and assigned to track down cold cases. Putnam puts in plenty of twist and turns, at least one of which I didn’t catch until the bitter end. That said, the protagonist wasn’t particularly well-nuanced and the prose a bit simplistic for my tastes.
Great Story. I loved the way this book is written in two parts. The David Putnam has done a fabulous job in showing us what it was like to be a rookie cop, and see some of the horrors many of us only ever hear about. Dave Beckett certainly learns how hard the streets can be when he becomes a rookie cop, and the terrible things that can happen. Becoming a detective later in his career in the Sheriffs Office has its new challenges.
This book easily held my attention all the way through and it is very well written. I quite enjoyed the twist and turns and the author certainly kept us guessing. Well worth a read. 5/5 Star Rating.
What a thriller! I loved this book. More so when I realised after finishing that so much is based on real cases and the author’s life.
I was drawn in immediately to Dave’s world and the intrigue surrounding the cases. I loved the twists which came in the second half of the book. Granted I had guessed the ‘bad seed’ but I didn’t see a lot of the other stuff coming at all and enjoyed it immensely.
I haven’t read any more of the author’s work but shall be doing so!
Thanks to netgalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. Dave has dreamed of being a cop for many years. When he joins the force as a rookie he learns many things. He always saw things as right or wrong until he became a cop. He learned that they were some grey areas at times. I enjoyed seeing the job of a cop through a rookies eyes.
This novel, part autobiographical, sets out to describe what it is like to be a freshly qualified American policeman as he tries to get through his 6-month promotionary period without bungling it.
David Becket, who writes in the first person, is 21, with almost zero experience with girls, let alone crime, and only just allowed to drink alcoholic beverages. He still does not see himself as an adult and therefore suffers a little from imposter syndrome as he drives around in his patrol car. Yet men younger than himself have been sent to fight on the army for millennia before now, often go be killed. In the mean time, as a rookie he gets hazed - a lot. Is the police academy really, also that juvenile?
He isn't to be spared from frontline horrors of the trauma-inducing kind. First he is sent to witness what happens after a man puts a shotgun into his mouth, then he gets called out to witness murders, the more the merrier, it seems.
Slowly, a sense of camaderie grows between himself and his elders and he is mentored all the more for having seen so much already. Then, there is the touching story of first love.
Then, we are fast-forwarded a decade to a hard-bitten and seasoned David Beckett. He is now a sheriff, working in homicide, separated from his wife, and of his former mentors is now indicted for the very crime he is out to get.
This is where his past restructures itself to reveal a pattern to the murders. Could it be that there is a serial killer in his community? The story now appears to constellate into a whodunnit.
The second part of the novel is now fiction rather than autobiography, though a lot is still based on real events. It is still a great read until the end, with its twists and turns. However, as a whodunnit, the ending was a little disappointing. Perhaps there were clues dropped as to the wrongdoer's identity before, but somehow their character was not built up enough to create that final 'kick-yourself' moment for not having seen what was hiding in plain sight a whole lot sooner.
However, it is still a highly absorbing read, and certainly does show up why choosing this job as a career will almost certainly impact all areas of the individual's life. Being on the frontline, this close to so much darkness, is a tough road to take.
An excellent read throughout, I really enjoyed the difference in narration from rookie cop to seasoned detective.
There were a lot of characters to learn but once past that, the plot moves at an excellent pace and the conclusion is more than satisfying.
This is based on the true life of the author. It gives the reader a glimpse of the life of a rookie police officer and his life on the force. A very compelling book that will have you glued to the pages. Highly recommend! I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
Part memoir (author's note in back) and part mystery, crime drama. Fast-paced action.
Story about a young man who becomes a cop, learns that not everything and everyone are true to their word, and still tries to always do the right thing.
Dave has always wanted to be a cop and now that he is one, he is determined to do his job and do it well. As the days, months, and years go by, he finds that sometimes it isn't just on the streets where you find the criminals. As he slowly starts to piece together different murders, he figures out who the real criminal is - but can he stop him before he is stopped?
Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book. Fast paced mystery/thriller, partial memoir. Excellent whodunnit that was quite a surprise at the end. Some parts make you wonder about trusting members of law enforcement and their behavior towards civilians and one another but overall a great read!
I have respect for the dedicated men and women of the police force. My review does not reflect any negativity regrading the tough sacrifices made every day, from putting their lives on the line and at the same time, trying to preserve their home lives, that which are often being disrupted by their work. Having said that, I did not enjoy the book. The writing did not engage me nor did many of the scenarios. To avoid spoilers, I cannot be specific. Three stars for my regard of law enforcement. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for granting me this ARC. #NetGalley #AFearsomeMoonlightBlack.
New to Mr. Putnam's (@daveputnam) catalog, I adored #AFearsomeMoonlightBlack. We spend the first half of his novel following rookie Dave Beckett on his calls. Putnam really gives a sense of what it's like to be young, inexperienced and fighting crime. Dave's head rings with the warnings and advice of his mentors and I found this description from a drill instructor to be exactly what being police must be like - "It's hours of boredom interspersed with moments of pure terror." YIKES. Dave makes some mistakes along the way and seems to catch more than his fair share of pure terror. The second half speeds us forward about seven years, Dave now a detective with the sheriff's office, and floundering a bit. His marriage is on the rocks, he's been relegated to a position as a Bone Detective, going to calls where bones have been found, and he's still haunted by an unsolved murder or two. One of his mentors is in jail on a murder charge, and reaches out to Dave for help. The journey to solve the case (even he's not sure if his mentor is innocent) means Dave is often out of bounds and one misstep away from real trouble. It's quite obvious how the personal blends with the professional, and I don't think police can ever just be people. Highly recommend.
P.S. Thanks to #netgalley for the ARC.
The California cop novel is an uniquely American art form and a ton of people have tried to write them. Some of those books have been awful, most of them were average, and a few have been very, very good indeed. A handful -- and only a handful -- have been great, and those books have shaped the art form into something important and memorable. To those few books, you can now add A FEARSOME MOONLIGHT BLACK.
The structure is familiar, yet fresh. The characters are beautifully drawn. The narrative is compelling and surprising. What more can we ask?
From the pen of David Putnam, author of the hugely popular ‘Bruno Johnson’ series, comes the stand-alone ‘A Fearsome Moonlight Black’.
The storyline begins with an introduction to Dave Becket, a rookie cop. He’s just a kid with a badge, a gun, and a fast car, working the streets of a small town in Southern California, just trying to keep his nose clean until his probationary period is over, but (though he doesn’t know it yet) Dave is in for one helluva life, and we’re going along for the ride!
Initially, his naivety, and inexperience shows. In Dave’s world the criminals are the ones on the street - they’re the bad guys, but he soon discovers that life isn’t that cut and dried, and some of the criminals are his own colleagues.
We follow Dave through his career and his progression to seasoned Detective.
There are some great cases for him to crack, and the author provides some unforeseen twists and turns, with particular praise given for his excellent use of smoke and mirrors. It’s gritty, gripping, with superb development of the main protagonist - but it’s when you read the author’s note at the end of the book, that it really hits you between the eyes, and makes what you just read, even more special. I’ll say no more, other than this is a terrific read!