Reviews for Walk The Blue Line

by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann with Chris Mooney

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Real-life stories about one of the toughest jobs in the world. Police work is grindingly difficult, an ongoing struggle of finding the right course through a maze of bad alternatives. Patterson has done extensive research about police for his many successful novels, and Eversmann is a former Army Ranger who worked with the author on two previous collections, E.R. Nurses and Walk in My Combat Boots. As in those books, the authors allow their protagonists to recount their experiences for themselves. The stories cover many different types of police work, from SWAT teams to cold case investigators. There are 20-year veterans and recruits fresh out of training. A recurring theme is that they joined the police force to make a positive difference in their communities. Several of the accounts deal with small victories, recounting lives that could have turned bad but were set on a better path by making a personal connection. In a few cases, officers express feeling overwhelmed by a rising tide of gangs, guns, and drugs. Other stories deal with violent cases that defy explanation and are heart-rending in their pointlessness. It is no surprise that many officers experience post-trauma stress, although most police forces have recognized the problem and provide specialist help. The rhetoric of anti-police activists has added a sour note, and accusations of racism are especially painful for officers who are themselves from a minority. Nevertheless, the desire to protect, serve, and defend remains strong. “Like many in law enforcement, I’ve gone through traumatic events that, at times, turned me hard,” says one officer. "Made me rough around the edges and, at times, unapproachable. Behind every badge is a human being who has flaws and problems and suffers and is trying to do the best job he or she can.” A notable collection of heartfelt stories from the front line told with honesty and compassion. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Much like their previous collaboration, Walk in My Combat Boots (2020), Walk the Blue Line is an oral history collection of open-ended interviews, this time chronicling a variety of stories from a diverse sample of law enforcement officers. While Patterson has top billing here, it is the officers speaking candidly about their experiences and what they have witnessed who are the real stars. Eversmann and Mooney do yeoman’s work in collecting and categorizing these stories from so many men and women in policing with different points of view, including those working patrol and dispatch along with helicopter pilots, detectives, and others. Walk the Blue Line allows LEOs to state their values and professional mission as well as set standards for the use of force. From the first page to the last, their voices ring. The authors provide a brief biography of each interviewee, then step back to hear their stories. This collection is well-organized; the stories are compelling and authentic and flow from the page with ease and impact.