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King City  By  cover art

King City

By: Lee Goldberg
Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
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Publisher's Summary

Tom Wade is a determined cop and a relentless man of action - equal parts Harry Bosch and Jack Reacher - who battles police corruption and a ruthless crime lord, against impossible odds. Once part of King City’s elite Major Crimes Unit, Sergeant Wade secretly worked with the Justice Department to nail seven of his fellow detectives for corruption…costing him his marriage and making him a pariah in the police department. So he’s exiled by his superiors to one of King City’s most notorious and violent neighborhoods - a poverty-stricken, gang-ridden hellhole known as Darwin Gardens. It’s a de facto death sentence. But Wade doesn’t fight the potentially fatal reassignment.

With just two rookie officers to help him, Wade does the only thing he’s wired to do: his job. He moves into an apartment above the substation and then, vastly out-numbered and out-gunned by local gangs, sets out to enforce the law anyway with courage and an unwavering moral code, slowly earning the respect of his newbie officers, the neighborhood residents, and even Darwin Gardens’ most feared crime lord.

When a young woman’s brutally beaten corpse is dumped in a Darwin Gardens parking lot, Wade uncovers a history of similar killings ignored for years by a police department more interested in politics than justice. So he embarks on an investigation that leads from the squalor of the inner city to the manicured enclaves of the privileged, revealing the complex, sordid, and deadly ways that the two worlds are intertwined….and making him even more hated by those determined to crush him. But for Wade the only thing that matters, in the words of his father, is “what you stand for and how strong you stand for it.” With that motto long ago etched into his psyche, there’s no backing down; there’s only what’s right - even if it means sacrificing his life.

King City brings the sensibility of a classic western to the contemporary crime novel, and the result is an exhilarating read that reinvigorates a tired genre.

©2012 Lee Goldberg (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about King City

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent pulp fiction!

The 1994 movie Pulp Fiction defined a hard hitting, and often humorous, crime fiction genre that was most typical 20 to 40 years earlier. Lee Goldberg is a throwback to that era. The book is also written almost like a script for a movie the opening episode of a TV series. Goldberg is certainly well known for his humorous crime novels, but King City has little of humor although it does tend toward the outrageous. In summary, King City is a good, quick listen with strong narration. One should re=member that Lee Goldberg puts out massive volumes of writing for the book, TV, and movie markets. His works are not for book snobs. In Marxist language he writes for the proletariat rather than the bourgeoisie.

9 people found this helpful

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First time listening to an audiobook

Would you consider the audio edition of King City to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version yet

What was one of the most memorable moments of King City?

Tough call here, I would say the whole story was memorable.

What does Patrick Lawlor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Patrick was a very good narrator, he put feeling into the story along with changing his voice for each character. Wasn't like listening to a computerized voice
Patrick made the story come alive.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed at times

3 people found this helpful

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Solid gem in the rough.

To start, it's a little vulgar if that's not your thing. But it was a great well told, humorous story. I couldn't wait to listen to it everyday on my drive. The narrator also nailed it. Well done.

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Good Story

3.5 Stars for me

Long review but I have a lot to say... 🤓
I like the way LG weaves a story and pulls in the reader. This story had a lot of good going for it, even when it veered off into a Utopian dream.

I don't mind when authors include some political ideology into their stories but, when it seems to indict an entire police department as corrupt with the exception of the Hero and a rookie officer who joined to bring social change, it hurts the story. LG is unabashedly liberal which is completely fine with me. I am a mix of a fiscal conservative and social moderate which means that I piss off both sides. 🤗. I hope that LG can find a better balance as both political ideologies have some good ideas and we should include those to build a great country for all. If either side got 100% of what they wanted, this country would quickly fail.

More on the story...

The Sgt gets a lateral move to the most dangerous part of the city where other officers were gunned down and he is given a total of 2 officers to patrol the city as punishment for turning in the entire major crimes division for corruption. The patrol vehicles all have 200k+ miles, have been pissed in yet are mechanically sound so the brass doesn't get blamed for putting officers in danger.

The Sgt refuses to wear a bullet proof vest because 'it sends the wrong message' and then shoots one of his patrol officers in his vest to show that it will still incapacitate for a short time.

The Sgt shoots into a bad guys car on the street and blows up another car.

All of the shootings and blowing up a car yet he doesn't have to account for rounds fired or face IA?

Sgt calls in RHD and the Medical Examiner to investigate a probable murder victim yet neither are willing to do their jobs out of spite for outing terrible officers... So he does his own investigation and dumps the body on the front door of a member of the PD Brass... Funny but really improbable.

The Sgt wife left him after the trial (actually deserved and the author does an amazing job of ferreting out actual reason. He also showed the hypocrisy of the Sgt when he doesn't want his 13 year old daughter to visit him in the dangerous city he now calls home and does it in a brilliant way. The daughter also has a wicked sense of humor and perfectly displayed how much parents bury their heads in the sand when it comes to sexuality and what kids know/do.

The Black Female Rookie does have a chip on her shoulder but shows true metal when backing up her partners, dealing with bad decisions the Sgt makes and calling him out for ignoring some crime while going hard core on other crimes. Based on how LG wrote her character, she should rise quickly through the ranks and eventually lead the entire department.

The other rookie officer was both comic relief and a success story as he hid his insecurities with humor and did not realize how his instincts will make him an excellent officer.

Take out the bullet proof vest argument and this is a 4.5 Star read for me.

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Very good detective story

This is the first book that I have read from this author. It was very well written and had humor laced with the story. It was enjoyable. Ithad a smattering of romance in it but nothing gratuitous. I would definitely read another story from this author. Narration was also very good.

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A fun read that was hard to put down.

I chose all 5s to express how much I enjoyed the book. It kept my interest and had me guessing and plotting about the end. Tom Wade is a no nonsense dedicated sometimes smart ass cop. He is strong in his convictions and true to his beliefs. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes action packed feel good stories. He is the Matt Dillon of King City. The book makes you really crave pie 😂

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Very good suspense, action, narration

This book is a hard boiled detective type book. It features Detective Tom Wade who is punished by his Police Dept. and sent back on the beat in the toughest part of the city with two rookies. It has lots of mystery and action. The narration is very good. It's an entertaining book.

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Encore !?!

Of all the Lee Goldberg because I have read this has been my favorite. But why did you stop at one? It seems he set up all the characters in King city for a long running series. I want to follow them and know what happens. Please write more!

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I really enjoy Lee Goldberg’s books

Characters, plot, action, author’s great dry humor, it’s got it all. Fun reads! Hope for more soon.

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Entertaining

Lee Goldberg comes up with some unique stories. This one was very entertaining. The reader on Audible did a fine job and his voice fit the main character especially. I plan to read or listen to more novels by Lee Goldberg.