The following review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link in the right side bar.
Broken Trust by W.E.B. Griffin and his son William E. Butterworth IV has many relevant themes intertwined within an action packed plot. This Badge Of Honor Series offers a lot of insight into the lives and challenges of the police. With officers being threatened all across this country this book is a very welcome read.
The plot begins when Philadelphia Homicide Sergeant Matt Payne sees a shootout while off duty. Known as “Wyatt Earp of the Main Line,” he becomes actively involved even though he is recuperating from a serious gunshot wound. He finds that there is a link between the shootout and a young socialite, Camilla Rose Morgan. When she supposedly falls to her death Matt’s investigation ratchets up. Did she jump, fall, or was pushed? The more Matt digs, the more complications he discovers including that Camilla suffered from bi-polar disorder. He is determined to find the answers even though the Philadelphia political elite wants to throw him under the bus.
All of these series written give a shout-out to so many who put their lives on the line, those in the clandestine series, the military, and the police. William noted to blackfive.net, “All these groups are sworn to protect and serve. I told dad that he was one of the first writers, in the early 1980s, to come out with a positive story on the military after the Vietnam War. I think the Brotherhood Of War series was so successful, because finally people who deserved to be written about bought these books. Likewise when he started the Badge Of Honor series about the police. He even spoke to the Philadelphia police force to tell them how much they are respected. We write about good and decent people doing an honorable job.”
A very potent scene in the book shows how the Philadelphia Mayor, Jerry Carlucci, wants to railroad Matt for political expediency. When asked, William told of a real scenario that made a lasting impression on him. “In Chicago a policewoman was horribly beaten and when asked why she did not shoot the perpetrator her reply, ‘I did not want to be the one in the next Black Lives video.’ They no longer go on instinct but feel they must think through their actions. Unfortunately, I do not see it getting better anytime soon.”
They even did a shout-out to the wounded warriors. He recounts after “My dad and I visited Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio. We had, Amanda, Matt’s Fiancé, decide to go there for a few months to do an emergency medicine residency program. This is one of the premier places that handle burn and trauma as a result of the wars and the IEDs. My dad and I wanted to write about what we experienced when we went there: the incredible inner strength, determination, and perseverance of the patients. We were taken back by their attitude, ‘the harder it gets; the tougher we get.’ After all they’ve been through they still would do anything to get back to serving with their brothers and sisters in uniform. It is awe-inspiring and humbling.”
Readers also get a word of warning after a cell phone rings with an “unknown” number and the person does not leave a message. How many people have had that happen to them? The author has his own rule about this, “if I do not recognize a number, I do not answer it. I will only call back if someone leaves a message. If you answer it you set yourself up for possible robo calls. Once, I got an unrecognizable number where a message was actually left saying ‘This is the IRS and you are not in compliance with your taxes. You must call this number.’ I decided to play it out. After I called I got a male with a foreign accent. I asked for proof that they were the IRS. After going back and forth I hung up. So many people would call them and have their credit cards sucked dry. It is important to understand nothing is as it appears anymore. You cannot take anything at face value.”
Broken Trust is very realistic. Unfortunately this fiction parallels what is happening today. It is a very action-packed and suspenseful, but also allows readers to get a glimpse of those in the police.