This review contains mild spoilers.
Book Name: The Victim
Author: W.E.B. Griffin
Series: Book #3 in the ongoing “Badge of Honor” series
Format(s): Hardcover(reprint)/Mass market paperback/audiobook/eBook
Release Date: February 1, 1991
You can read my review of the second book in the series, Special Operations, right here. That will eventually lead back to the first book in the series, Men In Blue.
Despite The Victim being the third book in the series this is really where “Badge of Honor” picks up steam. There are two murders, one an obvious mob hit and the other a cop, and Griffin hops between the two seemingly unrelated crimes with ease. Add to the mix that a friend of “Golden Boy” Matt Payne, Penny Detwieler, is wounded in the mob hit and you have three different storylines running throughout the book. The Detwieler storyline continues on after The Victim ends, but the mob hit of “Tony the Zee” has a likely real world ending that doesn’t work well in murder mysteries. But as I’ve said in my previous two reviews, “Badge of Honor” isn’t about the mysteries it’s about the relationships between the characters in the story.
The Victim is a throwback novel as it’s set in the 1970s, so no cell phones, no DNA, and crime scene forensics is really in its infancy. Being from a time where all these things are usable by police it’s fun to see how the police had to cope with the lack of things we take for granted now. Several times in the series we read of a police official “checking in” with headquarters to tell them where they are and to see if they have any messages. Griffin liberally uses the phrase “put the arm out” when saying that someone is looking for another officer. It’s maddening in a way because all you can think of is “if only they could…”.
Like the previous two books I liked this one a whole lot, but that comes with the caveat that I read all these books in order without the gap that would have taken place had I read them on their releases. The good news is you can do that too, and as so the three books have read like a long single book. That continued into book four, The Witness, and I’ll have more on that later.