Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Edward Conlon's Red On Red: An NYPD Detective's Foray Into Fiction

I heard New York Police Detective Ed Conlon speak at the Philadelphia Free Library a while back when he was promoting Blue Blood, his memoir of his first seven years on the NYPD, and I spoke to him briefly.

Conlon (seen in the above LIFE photo) appeared with the legendary former FBI special agent Joe Pistone, who spent six years undercover with the New York Bonanno Cosa Nostra organized crime family. Pistone wrote about his experiences in Donnie Brasco, and Johnny Depp later portrayed Pistone in the film Donnie Brasco.

Conlon has now written a novel called Red On Red and he was interviewed about the novel by Steven Kurutz at The Wall Street Journal.

You can read the piece via the below link:

You can also read about Conlon's take on police fiction via the below link:

I thought Blood Blood was interesting and I look forward to reading Red On Red.


  1. I am reading Red on Red now, what a beautifully written novel -- Mr. Conlon is also an amazing speaker -- you can find more reviews and appearances here:

  2. I also was at the Philadelphia Free Library the night Edward Conlon and Joe Pistone spoke and what struck me about Conlon was his love of being a cop. Rather than answer questions about his book he seemed to be in awe of Pistone with whom he was sharing the stage. He interviewed him, asking him multiple questions about his book and life. I had never heard of him before as I had ended up at the event on a whim but the next day I bought his book and have been a fan ever since. I'm eager to read 'Red on Red'.

  3. Anne,

    I recall that more people were asking questions of Ed Conlon than Joe Pistone, so Conlon cleverly directed the attention over to Pistone. That was a very generous act, in my view.

    You're right, the young detective clearly was in awe of the legendary undercover FBI agent.

    I read "Red On Red" last month and I thought it was a fine first novel. I think you will enjoy it.

    I plan to interview Ed Conlon in the coming weeks and you will be able to read the interview here at Paul Davis On Crime.

    Thanks for writing.

  4. After reading 57 pages, I gave up, I surrendered.

    I was drowning in minutia that added nothing to whatever the story is supposed to be.

    Conlon needs a really tenacious editor who can cut through all of the non-essential detail yet still leave a cogent story.

    Definitely not my cup of tea.