Under Color of Law
By: Aaron Phillip Clark
Series: Trevor Finnegan Book #1
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 10/01/2021
Audio: Narrated by:
Preston Butler III
My Rating: 4 Stars
The murder of a police recruit pins a black LAPD detective in a deadly web where race, corruption, violence, and cover-ups intersect in this relevant, razor-sharp novel of suspense.
Black rookie cop Trevor “Finn” Finnegan aspires to become a top-ranking officer in the Los Angeles Police Department and fix a broken department. A fast-track promotion to detective in the coveted Robbery-Homicide Division puts him closer to achieving his goal.
Four years later, calls for police accountability rule the headlines. The city is teeming with protests for racial justice. When the body of a murdered black academy recruit is found in the Angeles National Forest, Finn is tasked to investigate.
As pressure mounts to solve the crime and avoid a PR nightmare, Finn scours the underbelly of a volatile city where power, violence, and race intersect. But it’s Finn’s past experience as a beat cop that may hold the key to solving the recruit’s murder. The price? The end of Finn’s career…or his life.
“Harrowing evidence for Spike Lee’s famous claim that everything that happens in America is about race.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Clark’s ripped-from-the-headlines police procedural should make readers uncomfortable. It’s a frightening, tragic tale.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“An absolutely riveting book that belongs in the pantheon of L.A. crime novels alongside Connelly’s The Black Echo, Mosley’s Devil in a Blue Dress, and Ellroy’s The Black Dahlia. Under Color of Law is a landmine placed at the intersection of law enforcement, race, media, and politics by an author who clearly knows the volatile territory. I cannot wait to read the next Trevor Finnegan book.”
—Jason Pinter, bestselling author of Hide Away
“Aaron Philip Clark’s Under Color of Law is extraordinary. It’s a police procedural with a conscience, as invested in examining how and why American law enforcement so often fails to uphold its mandate to protect and serve all people equally as it is in telling a compelling story. You’ll read on for the mystery at its core, but you’ll remember Under Color of Law long after the read for the things it will teach you about the challenges of being a good cop of color in the age of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.”
—Gar Anthony Haywood, Shamus and Anthony Award–winning author of In Things Unseen
“Aaron Phillip Clark’s Under Color of Law is a dizzying, breathtaking ride through the City of Angels, offering an unflinching and compelling look at the complexities of being a Black man wearing a detective’s badge. An awesome L.A. story and a helluva page-turner!”
—Rachel Howzell Hall, author of the Los Angeles Book Prize–nominated And Now She’s Gone
“Not since Joseph Wambaugh’s New Centurions has a book about the LAPD arrived with the power, strength, and timeliness of Under Color of Law. This is a thriller, all right, but it’s also the portrait of a city and its institutions crumbling from within. A dynamic and important work and, still, a hell of a mystery.”
—Tod Goldberg, New York Times bestselling author of Gangsterland
“Rugged, real, and timely, the authenticity crackles on each page in this unputdownable novel from Mr. Clark.”
—Gary Phillips, author of Matthew Henson and the Ice Temple of Harlem
“Under Color of Law does what great crime fiction should: it kept me turning pages while I was reading it and kept me thinking about it when I wasn’t. Clark establishes himself as heir apparent to Michael Connelly in L.A. police novels.”
—Eric Beetner, author of All The Way Down
About the Author
Aaron Philip Clark is a native of Los Angeles, CA. He is a novelist and screenwriter. A self-described "son of the city," Clark takes pleasure in exploring the many facets of Los Angeles and enjoys hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains.
His most recent novel, UNDER COLOR OF LAW, is inspired by his experiences in the LAPD and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on October 1, 2021. Aaron Philip Clark is a novelist and screenwriter from Los Angeles. In addition to his writing career, he has worked in the film industry and in law enforcement. For more information, visit www.aaronphilipclark.com.