Review: Enemy in Blue by Derek Blass

Enemy in BlueEnemy in Blue by Derek Blass

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have to say I was a bit disappointed in this book. While the premise of the book is intriguing and has lots of promise, the author doesn’t quite deliver. It’s a story of a corrupt police force that is radically bent towards discrimination of anyone not of the White class. It is police brutality at its worst. The plot of the entire book is based on this theme. Think “Rodney King” magnified by a thousand. A violent crime committed by a police officer towards an unarmed, elderly Hispanic man is witnessed and video-taped, which leads to the Police Chief, the officer who committed the crime, a radical Hispanic freedom fighter, the only “good cop” it seems on the police force, the news station, and everyone else in the story, determined to get their hands on this video for various reasons. The plot is thin and could use more depth and twists and turns.

The book is extremely fast paced, to the point where you lose a sense of the characters and makes the scenes unbelievable. So many characters are introduced and you’re given little background or history. What you do get isn’t enough to really connect with any of them. It’s as though you’re an observer watching a story play out without really becoming involved. The story seemed to rely more on quick, thoughtless violence rather than a plot or theme. Every chapter had someone shooting, slicing, or some form of violence towards someone else. While I appreciate authenticity and violence when appropriate in a book, this was too much to absorb or feel believable.

Unfortunately, this book did not “ring true” for me.

View all my reviews

2 thoughts on “Review: Enemy in Blue by Derek Blass

  1. Good to see your post, but I beg to differ. Have you read Blass’ first book, Enemy in Blue? While I can appreciate the comments on Allegiance re: the pace and perhaps even the note that characters are not “deep” if you compare this work to other cop thrillers I think the genre lends itself to moving quickly and presenting information matter-of-factly (black and white, perhaps?). As for the connections you make to Rodney King, it is important to note that we wouldn;t know about cases like those that Blass portrays if it weren’t for the fact that more people are stepping up and recording events to bring about just ends to those who do not have the means to defend themselves.

    In the case of Enemy in Blue, the victims were illegal immigrants–what I’d like to know is if you think the resolution presented at the end of Allegiance is justified. Looking forward to your further thoughts on this book!

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    1. Hi Sharon,

      First, let me apologize profusely because I posted my review for the wrong book. It was supposed to be for Derek Blass’s first novel, Enemy in Blue. I haven’t read Allegiance yet. I do agree that Blass brings light to difficult issues with police corruption, illegal immigrants, etc. For that, I applaud him. Enemy in Blue was a struggle for me mostly because I felt I wasn’t given the chance to really connect with any of the characters. I felt more like an observer rather than rooting for anyone in particular. While fast-paced is good in most respects, I feel it’s important that the reader be given moments of pause and depth to see what’s driving the characters. In Blass’s book, I felt it lacked those pauses that allow us to catch our breath, however briefly, and then dive right back into the action. When it’s pure action and violence straight through, the reader loses a sense of how important it is to the story. It becomes one long race to the finish and it passes the reader by in a whirlwind.

      I will definitely give Allegiance a chance, though! He’s had so many positive reviews that I can’t discount what others say. Thanks for your thoughtful comments! And once I read Allegiance, I’ll post the review and try to answer your questions.

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