Monday, April 18, 2005

I met Edward Conlon

Just got back from a reading by Edward Conlon, the NYPD detective who wrote the awesome memoir Blue Blood. He was a nice guy who didn't mind me taking up a little too much of his time after the reading. He has a great New York accent that makes his cop stories even better than just reading him (if I'd made up his voice in my head while reading, I would have felt guilty for the stereotype). In fact, I'd almost recommend you pick up the audio book version instead.

Here are some interesting flashes:

Someone asked about police work being dangerous, he said "safer than being a fireman. Safer than being a cab driver."

Someone asked about the crazy cops who are accused of making hits for the mob. He said "corruption is not a part of my reality . I've made thousands of arrests and been offered a bribe once ... those guys are, um, special."

I asked him about Bronx juries, and he told this story about a cab robbery. The cab driver had a little camera on his rearview mirror, which got a shot of one of the perps. Conlon got the photo in the New York Daily News. The next day he caught the guy, wearing the same jacket with a clipped out picture of himself in the newspaper. The guy claimed it wasn't him and that when he confessed, he had a gun to his head. The grand jury wouldn't indict him.

I asked Conlon about my idea of doing a write-up of all the cop bars in town, and what cops would think of it. He didn't tell me the idea sucked, but ... well, he didn't seem to keen on it.

I also asked him about some of the books that he mentioned in his own book, particularly the book Sonny Grosso (of the French Connection) wrote about a murder in a Harlem mosque. I was hoping he'd hip me to a secret bookstore in New York where I could fulfill my crime book fantasies. But nay, he just told me it was really hard to get. But then he just recommended a different book that covers a lot of the same subjects.

I told him that I was moving to New York, asked about how he started writing for the New Yorker (once again, half-hoping that he'd just look at me and say, "the secret word is 'lycanthropy.' Use it well." Again, no dice.

He signed my book:

"Best wishes and welcome to New York"

Fucking cool.

3 Comments:

Blogger Tom said...

I know there are a handful of bookstores in New York that specialize in crime books, mysteries and thrillers. I've never been in any of them, but they might be worth checking out. Murder Ink is probably the most famous.

http://www.frommers.com/destinations/newyorkcity/0021021124.html

Cheers.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

I know there are a handful of bookstores in New York that specialize in crime books, mysteries and thrillers. I've never been in any of them, but they might be worth checking out. Murder Ink is probably the most famous.

http://www.frommers.com/destinations/newyorkcity/0021021124.html

Cheers.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Dana King said...

I just finished reading BLUE BLOOD; great book. What's the other book Conlon recommended?

12:58 PM  

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