Official Review: Head On NYPD Dies Hard by John Monaghan

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Miriam Molina
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Official Review: Head On NYPD Dies Hard by John Monaghan

Post by Miriam Molina »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Head On NYPD Dies Hard" by John Monaghan.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Captain Jimmy Gallagher, 39, has spent almost twenty years with the NYPD, and he is finally being considered for a promotion. However, his higher-ups are divided. Some see him as a hero for facing danger head-on; others believe he is taking too many unnecessary risks. On the way to his final interview for the promotion, Jimmy and his driver, Detective Frank Ramirez, happen upon three suspicious-acting Arabs. They accost these suspicious men. One drives off with their unmarked vehicle; the second gets into a scuffle with Jimmy for a gun. When the second man gains the upper hand, Frank shoots the bad guy. The third Arab, armed with four C-4 bricks strapped to his vest, is able to board a bus that later explodes. Seventeen New Yorkers are dead. Nobody knows that the terrorists have a much bigger job planned, and the expected death toll would be catastrophic. How will Jimmy rise to the occasion?

Head On: NYPD Dies Hard is every thriller fan’s dream story: lots of high-octane action, danger all around, and an invincible hero, much like NYPD police officer John McClane (played by Bruce Willis) in, you guessed it, the Die Hard movies. The book’s creator, John Monaghan, being a retired NYPD captain himself, supplies all the realism needed. Police jargon, investigative procedures, the competition between the local police and the FBI, and politics within the NYPD all make the story intense and hold the reader in blissful suspense. Viewers of the defunct TV police procedural NYPD Blue will have a ball.

In light of the current situation in the United States where the police are being battered mercilessly, police supporters may find the book comforting. The police officers in the story are not perfect, but the majority take their mandate “to protect and to serve” seriously. (Based on my research, the NYPD motto is “Faithful to Death.”) I like that Jimmy doesn’t lack for courage, puts the public’s interests before his own, and encourages inclusion. There are other appealing characters in the story: Joseph, Jimmy’s supportive dad, who runs a private investigative firm; the jolly Murray, Joseph’s trusted aide; and an Arab who has a pivotal role.

Monaghan exhibits superior character building. The relevant personalities, both heroes and heels alike, are provided with backstories and motivations that are inserted seamlessly into the story. While many of the terrorists are the usual malefactors of Middle Eastern descent (the stigma is hard to erase), the book also employs Caucasian villains, a feature that makes the story unique. As expected in books of this genre, the characters engage in frequent cussing, and violence is a major ingredient. We also have to excuse the author for the plot armor that Jimmy is endowed with.

Another of the book’s winning points is the subtle foreshadowing that supports the later revelations. (I relished those realizations.) Monaghan also depicts the locations admirably, but there are times when the descriptions become unnecessarily meticulous. Those may be scissored out without harming the story.

The author infuses the book with needed humor in the banter among police officers, Murray’s antics, and the casual flirting between Jimmy and Jessica. However, the humor seems inappropriate at times, especially during the killing scenes. The love angle, while a welcome diversion, also appears contrived.

Readers will find quotable quotes that focus on the importance of family, the solidarity of humans, and the value of faith. I was especially struck by this one: “Faith was between a man and his God; religion was between men.”

Unfortunately, the book has other demerits. There is a kink in the timeline which the author should address; thriller buffs are sure to notice that loophole. Editing also needs a second look. Colons and semicolons pervade the sentences. Various other grammar mishaps are likewise present. These flaws, along with the ones mentioned earlier, constrain me to withhold a star from my rating. I give the book 3 out of 4 stars. Those like me who enjoy the occasional adrenaline rush are invited to join Jimmy Gallagher in this and his next adventures. This first one was a blast!

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Head On NYPD Dies Hard
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Post by Vickie Noel »

This sounds like a winner for me! I love high-octane action thrillers, and the fact that the author's work experience provides a solid foundation for the realistic nature of the plot seals the deal for me. It's great that it's humorous, but I understand how awkward that would be in scenes of gross violence. Nonetheless, I feel inclined to give this book a go! Thanks for the insightful review as always!
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Post by Samgum50 »

Your review has been very insightful on this book. However I don't think it would be a suitable read for me.

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Post by NetMassimo »

A realistic thriller is interesting to read as it allows us to understand actual police procedure. With another round of editing it could be great. Thank you for your terrific review!
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Post by Ellylion »

Humor during killing scenes truly is inappropriate... But I believe this book is very much appealing to the fans of the thriller genre. Thank you for this insightful review!

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Post by Miriam Molina »

Vickie Noel wrote:
06 Jun 2020, 04:10
This sounds like a winner for me! I love high-octane action thrillers, and the fact that the author's work experience provides a solid foundation for the realistic nature of the plot seals the deal for me. It's great that it's humorous, but I understand how awkward that would be in scenes of gross violence. Nonetheless, I feel inclined to give this book a go! Thanks for the insightful review as always!
Thanks, Vickie! The author even talks about "watching" his book on YouTube. This is a step beyond audiobooks. I wasn't successful in accessing the video, though.

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

Samgum50 wrote:
06 Jun 2020, 05:51
Your review has been very insightful on this book. However I don't think it would be a suitable read for me.
I understand. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

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Post by Miriam Molina »

NetMassimo wrote:
06 Jun 2020, 09:27
A realistic thriller is interesting to read as it allows us to understand actual police procedure. With another round of editing it could be great. Thank you for your terrific review!
Thank you for your terrific comment. Yes, I learned about the "grabbable area" when searching for concealed unlicensed weapons in the premises.

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Post by Miriam Molina »

Ellylion wrote:
06 Jun 2020, 09:34
Humor during killing scenes truly is inappropriate... But I believe this book is very much appealing to the fans of the thriller genre. Thank you for this insightful review!
Thank you for visiting. Perhaps the author wanted to lighten the moment, but I found it out of place.

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Post by Vickie Noel »

Miriam Molina wrote:
06 Jun 2020, 14:52
Vickie Noel wrote:
06 Jun 2020, 04:10
This sounds like a winner for me! I love high-octane action thrillers, and the fact that the author's work experience provides a solid foundation for the realistic nature of the plot seals the deal for me. It's great that it's humorous, but I understand how awkward that would be in scenes of gross violence. Nonetheless, I feel inclined to give this book a go! Thanks for the insightful review as always!
Thanks, Vickie! The author even talks about "watching" his book on YouTube. This is a step beyond audiobooks. I wasn't successful in accessing the video, though.
Really? That would be a first! Sorry about that though; I wonder if it would be accessible later... that would have been nice.
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Post by Chimdi_3 »

Action stories are it for me,I can actually picture this as a movie.Great review.

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Post by Miriam Molina »

Chimdi_3 wrote:
06 Jun 2020, 16:06
Action stories are it for me,I can actually picture this as a movie.Great review.
Thanks for the kind words. The author actually advertises a video of the book on YouTube. Let's check it out!

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Post by JM Reviews »

This sounds like a great read. I'd like to read more about the risks he was taking. Nice review
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Post by LinaJan »

This book indeed sounds like a blast! Just like review itself! The exhaustiveness of it is immense! And I am soooo intrigued by what this ''subtle foreshadowing'' is all about! Thank you for such an inviting review :D

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Post by Vickie Noel »

Miriam Molina wrote:
06 Jun 2020, 14:52
Vickie Noel wrote:
06 Jun 2020, 04:10
This sounds like a winner for me! I love high-octane action thrillers, and the fact that the author's work experience provides a solid foundation for the realistic nature of the plot seals the deal for me. It's great that it's humorous, but I understand how awkward that would be in scenes of gross violence. Nonetheless, I feel inclined to give this book a go! Thanks for the insightful review as always!
Thanks, Vickie! The author even talks about "watching" his book on YouTube. This is a step beyond audiobooks. I wasn't successful in accessing the video, though.
Hi Miriam, did you check out the youtube video yet? I was able to get a link to it, though I'm not sure it should be posted here. Watched a couple of videos too. I just loved that Monaghan was able to do something outside the norm. It was a new and beautiful experience.
Stop waiting for what you WANT, start working with what you HAVE. --- Seth Cain
Never be bullied into questioning your own credibility. --- Vickie Noel

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