A Shadow in the City
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A Shadow in the City : Confessions of an Undercover Drug Warrior

3.8 (67 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Joey O'Shay is a cop with a genius for the drug bust. But after more than two decades undercover, he's no longer so certain who the heroes of the drug war are, or what the fight is for. Still, he never feels so alive as when he's doing a deal. So this time he sets out to test himself against the elite of the drug business, the Colombians and their fine, pure heroin. Maybe he'll finally meet his match. Charles Bowden, author of the critically acclaimed Down by the River, follows O'Shay as he sets the deal in motion. A Shadow in the City confirms Bowden's reputation as a bold, genre-bending chronicler of the underworld.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 326 pages
  • 134.6 x 198.1 x 22.9mm | 294.84g
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0156032538
  • 9780156032537
  • 2,166,459

Flap copy

Joey O'Shay is not the real name of the narcotics agent in an unnamed city in the center of the country. But Joey O'Shay exists. The nearly three hundred drug busts he has orchestrated over more than two decades are real, too; if the drug war were a declared war, O'Shay would have a Silver Star.
With nerves and mastery worthy of his subject, Charles Bowden follows O'Shay as he sets in motion his latest conquest, a $50 million heroin deal that originates in Colombia and has federal agents sitting at attention from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., to New York City. As it unfolds, O'Shay reveals the unerring instinct and ceaseless vigilance that have led him through minefields and brought down kingpins. But now they have led him to a place where it isn't so clear who the heroes are or what the fight has been for. And still the warrior fights on, in a murky and unforgiving landscape readers will not be able to forget.
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Back cover copy

"A fascinating personal story about a man whose search for meaning in his life makes him reject his life's work."--The Washington Post Book World
He calls himself Joey O'Shay, and he's a cop with a genius for the drug bust. But after more than two decades undercover, he s no longer so certain who the heroes of the drug war are, or what the fight is for. Still, he never feels so alive as when he s doing a deal. So this time he sets out to test himself against the elite of the drug business, the Colombians and their fine, pure heroin. Maybe he ll finally meet his match. Maybe he'll put down this life and leave Joey O Shay behind for good.
"This is a look at drug enforcement that leaves you wishing it was a novel so it wouldn't be true. The hero, Joey O'Shay, is an artist in his own genre and has to be one of the hardest men in our history."--Jim Harrison
"A Shadow in the City portrays an elusive underworld in the perfect tones of a dream. It is a story full of courage-of bravery that belongs not merely to the embattled agent who is the subject here, but also to the great Charles Bowden for his insistence on non-fiction, and the continuing purity of his work."--William Langewiesche, author of American Ground
Charles Bowden is a journalist whose work appears regularly in Harper's, GQ, and other national publications. He is the author of several previous books of nonfiction, including the critically acclaimed Down by the River, a New York Times Notable Book. He lives in Tucson.
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Review quote

PRAISE FOR A SHADOW IN THE CITY "A Shadow in the City is a condemnation of the drug war, with a top officer saying the point of the war eludes him. But it's also a fascinating personal story about a man whose search for meaning in his life makes him reject his life's work."--The Washington Post Book World "No writer casts a colder and more perceptive eye on our culture than Chuck Bowden. This is a look at drug enforcement that leaves you wishing it was a novel so it wouldn't be true. The hero, Joey O'Shay, is an artist in his own genre and has to be one of the hardest men in our history."--Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall
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Rating details

67 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 33% (22)
4 34% (23)
3 19% (13)
2 7% (5)
1 6% (4)
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