Monday, April 13, 2009

Internal Affairs by Connie Dial

A cop in the LAPD is found dead in the trunk of an unmarked police car in front of a deputy chief's house. Internal Affairs, follows both the murder investigation and the personnel inquiry following the grisly discovery through the eyes of several people, most notably Mike Turner, the IA sergeant assigned to the case.

Author Connie Dial is a 27-year veteran of the LAPD herself, working her way through the ranks and departments as varied as narcotics and internal affairs. Knowing the author's background lends an almost disheartening realism to the tale of police corruption that unfolds.

At once a murder mystery and a character study, Internal Affairs was most interesting when following the breadcrumb-like clues to the murderer. While I desperately wanted to care for the characters and the personal story of the lead investigator, I had a difficult time wrapping my head around the red-tape bureaucracy at the upper levels of the LAPD, making it much more difficult to understand many of the thoughts and emotions Turner experiences. Several times through the book, reference is made to the workings of a cop's brain and the difference in the way a civilian thinks. I ended up wondering if that was perhaps the problem. Was I getting confused at some of the intuitive leaps and emotional rides because I do not have a cop's brain? I think it's possible.

I very much enjoyed this as a murder mystery. Those more involved in or familiar with city politics and/or police procedure, would likely thoroughly enjoy Internal Affairs. Those with brains more like me would like it, but probably not love it.

Internal Affairs is published by The Permanent Press and will be available in June.

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I'm human, so I've got some issues, but all things considered I guess I'm reasonably normal. My parents are still married. My best friends are my sisters...okay, so I'm normal for the 1850's whatever. I'm opinionated and nerdy. I'm walking the line between tweener-style pop culture love (witness my ever-burning New Kids love and inexplicable Twilight obsession) and elitist culture snob (I can't seem to get enough 19th century British Lit and historical biographies) but, after 30 years, I'm finally learning not to give a crap what anyone else thinks about me. Oh, and those are my feet in the picture. The socks were made by a friend.

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