The Making of a Detective

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In 1991, Harvey Rachlin sought to document the process whereby four otherwise unremarkable young men became accepted as members of the New York City Police Department in THE MAKING OF A COP. This new work continues in the same vein with the development of an officer who becomes first a detective and then a homicide detective. David Carbone can barely remember being a civilian, and he is a long way from being a rookie walking his first mean streets. He is, however, not yet proficient at determining who committed a crime or how to obtain a conviction once he is reasonably confident of that individual’s identity. He is well acquainted with the process of responding to a report of a crime, either in process or after discovery, but the procedure to carry the process into a court of law is another matter. Yet, David Carbone is an ambitious, intelligent individual capable of instruction in those arcane disciplines associated with the fine art of locating and convicting those who break the law. THE MAKING OF A DETECTIVE does not concern itself solely with those events witnessed by Rachlin, but also reaches back to the time, three years earlier, when Carbone first received an assignment as a detective. Admittedly, some dramatic license is employed and the sequence of events compressed for clarity, but only to enhance the reader’s comprehension.

In other hands, this work would inundate the reader with the repetitious recitation of one gory tale after another. Rachlin selects his episodes so as to illuminate another previously unexamined aspect of the art of detecting. The result is an exceptional look past the customary into the life of an urban policeman who carries the coveted detective’s shield.