Re: RARA-AVIS: police procedurals

From: Joy Matkowski (
Date: 11 Aug 2002

No, Jim, I'm contending those two points qualify the book as dark. Joy, who's never seen _Hill Street Blues_
> Re your comment below:
> > It's dark because the initial crime is the murder of
> > a 13-year-old drug
> > runner and because the police dilemma of the book is
> > to either infiltrate
> > the all-powerful drug organizations (the last such
> > infiltrator was killed)
> > or to reach a power-sharing arrangement with them.
> Is it your contention that no law enforcement agency
> would ever be faced with that dilemma in real life?
> There are, in fact, police agencies who SPECIALIZE in
> infiltrating drug rings(the DEA, for example), and the
> NYPD is said to have come to some sort of accord with
> the drug rings of NYC prior to the mayoral
> administration of Rudy Giuliani. That certainly
> doesn't render it a NON-procedural, by itself.
> > The book is too much soap
> > opera for me, though, lots of breastbeating and
> > angst and infighting and
> > snide comments about everyone else's tacky taste.
> Like the popular police procedural TV drama, HILL ST.
> BLUES, you mean? Or are you suggesting that HILL
> STREET was also a non-procedural?
> > There's no police
> > procedure, and neither side seems rational enough to
> > keep a large
> > organization running. Not my cup of tea.
> Speaking as a cop with more than a decade's experience
> I can testify to the absolute truth of a law
> enforcement agency run by an irrational
> mangerial/command staff. Again, I have to say that
> this doesn't mean the James books are non-procedurals.
> I haven't read them, and you may very well be right,
> but none of the reasons you've given so far are
> convincing.

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