Guardians in Blue: Book Two
By Ken Bangs
Ken Bangs showed us the world of police work from an insider’s point of view in his first novel in this series, Guardians in Blue. In this second installment, he brings the reader into the world of policing again and also shows us how criminals think. It’s a really interesting book and should appeal to a wide range of audiences.
Ken Bangs worked in Dallas as a police officer, and was promoted to Sergeant. From there, he went on to work as a security director for a large multi-national company. Then, he decided he wanted to get back into the field as a police officer, his preferred job. He loved being in the field and he went back to work in his hometown of Plano, Texas. After this, he worked for many years as the director of security for the local school district, and he was even elected a judge. So, his career in law enforcement spans many years and many different types of law enforcement experience. His books give you a clear view into that career field and what it’s like for the officers who work the streets day to day in our cities. For that reason, I suggest this book for anyone who is interested in starting a career in this field. It is very eye-opening.
In Guardians in Blue: Book Two, Bangs also gives the reader a glimpse into the world of the criminals. He writes fictional accounts of the criminals and what their thoughts and actions are before, during, and after their crimes. This gives the reader insight into the mind of the criminals that the police officers deal with each day. It was interesting to see the variety of backgrounds that the criminals came from, and that some were violent and some were committing white-collar crimes. All were real cases that Bangs worked during his career, with some of the people and dialog fictionalized. Many of the real cases are still unsolved.
The book is written in a unique voice. It sometimes seems that the writing is very formal because the author never uses contractions (words like don’t, can’t, etc.) in his writing. It may be that this is how law enforcement personnel are trained to write so that their meaning is always clear in all written communications. It doesn’t detract from the story, but adds a unique voice that is appropriate for the theme of the novel.
I did find that the author skipped over how he became a judge. He went from working at the school district to being a judge between one chapter and the next. He did indicate in the previous chapter that he was going to run for the office, but not anything about how or when he got elected to the judge position. It was just something that seemed to be missing in his otherwise very thorough narrative of his career highlights. Maybe he has another installment in this series planned and it will be included there. The story of being a judge could fill an entire book by itself, in my opinion. Either way, it’s a good book and gives the reader an insightful look into a world that few of us know about.
I recommend this book for anyone who is considering a career in law enforcement. Or for anyone who is just curious about how police do their jobs from an insider’s point of view. It’s a different perspective than the usual fictional accounts that readers get because this guy actually worked the streets and the crime scenes and he knows what he is talking about. It is easy to read and there are some slang terms used, but these are all explained in a glossary at the end of the book. I had no idea that there were so many unique terms used in the law enforcement field. In summary, it’s a very interesting book and I think most readers will enjoy it.
I’d like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this advance reader copy in exchange for my honest review.