NYPD Green: A Memoir
In this gritty, sometimes hilarious, but always brutally honest memoir, Irish immigrant and retired NYPD homicide detective Luke Waters shares the darker and harder side of the police force that “will make you sit up, stay up, and keep reading” (Edward Conlon, author of Blue Blood).
Growing up in the rough outskirts of northern Dublin at a time when joining the guards, the army, or the civil service was the height of most parents’ ambitions for their children, Luke Waters knew he was destined for a career in some sort of law enforcement. Dreaming of becoming a police officer, Waters immigrated to the United States in search of better employment opportunities and joined the NYPD.
Despite a successful career with one of the most formidable and revered police forces in the world, Waters’s reality as a cop in New York was a far cry from his fantasy of serving and protecting his community. Over the course of a career spanning more than twenty years—from rookie to lead investigator, during which time he saw New York transform from the crack epidemic of the ’90s to the low crime stats of today—Waters discovered that both sides of the law were entrenched in crooked culture.
In NYPD Green Waters offers a gripping and fascinating account filled with details from real criminal cases involving murder, theft, gang violence, and more, and takes you into the thick of the danger and scandal of life as a New York cop—both on and off the beat.
Balanced with wit and humor, Waters’s account paints a vivid picture of the colorful characters on the force and on the streets and provides an unflinching—often critical—look at the corruption and negligence in the justice system put in place to protect us, showing the hidden side of police work where many officers are motivated not purely by the desire to serve the community, but rather by the “green” earned in overtime, expenses, and allowances.
A multifaceted and engaging narrative about the immigrant experience in America, Waters’s story is also one of personal growth, success, and disillusionment—a rollicking journey through the day-to-day in the New York Police Department.