Andrew Case’s police procedural The Big Fear tells the story of a New York City cop who on a muggy August night shoots a fellow officer who was armed. The shooting catches the attention of an ambitious civilian investigator. The civilian investigator, Leonard Mitchell is promised promotion to the head of the department if he can successfully prosecute Ralph Mulino, the officer who shot his brother-in-arms. As Mitchell starts to dig deeper, he uncovers much more than he bargained for. This discovery leads both characters to team up and expose a vast network of misconduct and corruption.
“There were twenty-six officers in Property, and it was a strict daytime tour, so if you were lucky you didn’t have to spend a full hour at the window more than once every couple of days.”
Like many police procedurals, The Big Fear has an intriguing storyline mixed in with suspense. The plot is very believable as there is bound to be misconduct in corruption in the police force, especially in a big city like New York. The author, who is a native New Yorker, undoubtedly knows his city extremely well and it shows in the book with accurate descriptions of the streets, its businesses, and landmarks. As far as character development goes, the two main characters, Mitchell and Mulino, each have a distinct voice, which further lends credibility. But perhaps the most redeeming quality of the book is its suspense. While reading the novel, I was amazed by the twists and turns it had to offer.
In conclusion, The Big Fear is a great police procedural mystery, and I would highly recommend it.