• Nothing Left to Prove: A Law Enforcement Memoir

  • By: Danny R. Smith
  • Narrated by: Tom Taverna
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Nothing Left to Prove: A Law Enforcement Memoir

By: Danny R. Smith
Narrated by: Tom Taverna
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Publisher's Summary

He landed his dream job pursuing the guilty, but two decades of horrific violence and a steady stream of death left him scarred...

From the streets of South Los Angeles to the elite homicide bureau, former sheriff’s detective Danny R. Smith saw some of LA’s darkest hours: A crack cocaine epidemic, unprecedented gang warfare, a spike in homicides that stunned the nation, the Rodney King riots.

A beating left him unconscious. Only the miraculous malfunction of a killer’s automatic weapon saved his life. But it was the hundreds of deaths and innumerable tragedies - murdered colleagues, dead kids, a Native American burned alive by skinheads - that took the greatest toll.

In this no-holds-barred memoir, Smith offers a rare, unfiltered view of a career in law enforcement, and reveals his unique insights into battling PTSD and being forced to leave the profession he loved.

Nothing Left to Prove is shocking, riveting, and poignant - remarkably honest. It’s the very personal story of one man’s career and its effect on his life, unveiled through Smith’s masterful storytelling. If you think you know cops, if you enjoy compelling true-crime stories, then you’ll love Danny R. Smith’s powerful narrative.

Buy Nothing Left to Prove for an eye-opening insider’s perspective today!

©2021 Danny R. Smith (P)2022 Danny R. Smith

Critic Reviews

“The sharp, hardboiled prose you would expect from a detective novelist...Smith shares vivid details, hard-earned insights, and stories of courage and terror, told with crisp, raw dialogue, a feeling for the drama of potentially violent confrontations, and an undercurrent of despair, despite many heartfelt tributes to cops he trusted and the mentor whose murder he had to look into.” (BookLife Review)

What listeners say about Nothing Left to Prove: A Law Enforcement Memoir

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I tried to like it

I have had a hard time with this book.

I wanted to like it. I'm not a cop, and I have all the repect in the world who do the job right and preserve the peace. To that end, I believe Mr. Smith put in a tough career in some of the toughest precincts in the US, and did a good job. He saw the aftermath of a lot of trauma and experienced his own trauma as the result. But he had fun too. Paraphrasing one of Joseph Waumbaugh's characters, there is nothing more fun in the world than good police work.

But, the book has problems.

First, Mr. Smith makes a promise he doesn't keep. In his opening pages, he brings up the "92 LA riots and insinuates that he's going to tell us about his experience somewhere down the line. He also suggested that extralegal measures were taken that day, which is likely true. But that's all he says...about any of it...he got the call, he went out, they kicked ass, and maybe...not always within bounds of the law. That's the substance of his promise, if not the exact words, and it's about this long. After this insinuation, he never returns to the subject. Maybe he never intended to discuss the riots more than than he did, in which case why bring them up if he wasn't going to say anything about them? More than any thing else, I was really disappointed that the book didn't deliver on this experience.

Next, he fell for the fundamental danger in the memior; they tend to be self serving, and this book is just that. To this end, Mr. Smith is as guilty as most memiorists, and a bit amateurish at that. He presents himself, and most of the people he's worked with as heroic. There is no self-criticism...no real personal insight that he reveals other than maybe at the end when he talks about his PTSD.

Contrast this with...here's a heavy reference...Twain in the book Roughing It. Twain as an example of a great memiorist, is at least equally, if not more, interested in the people, places and things that encounters as he is in himself. Twain spends considerable ink discussing the people he encounters because he finds them interesting. I'm not comparing the two writers, but just making a point about what makes for me an interesting memior. Other than a narrow scope of acquaintences, I don't think Mr.Smith found people all that interesting over his 20-plus-year career, and the book kind of shows that.

The also book presents a mindset of "them against us" in which the police are the embattled and agrieved party.Mr.Smith seems to have forgotten that the real embattled and agrieved are the victims of crime, some people too poor or too looked down upon to escape to better circumstances, some people who are stuck for a variety of reasons...some their own making and some of that are beyond their control. and others who are just random victims. I think his own injury caused him to not see the need of those around as he focused more and more on himself. But he didn't reveal that he had any real insight about it, or at least none that he put forth.

Finally, with the exception of a couple of spots, there is little real detail or action the book. Mr.Smith cruises across the details of various scenarios very lightly, like he doesn't want to give too much away. But I paid to read/hear those things he doesn't want to give away. If that's the case, then he should write fiction where at least he can give details while denying that any of it actually happened. In a lot of ways, the book reads like an overlong and sanitized after-action report...short of detail and short on insight.

I would skip it.


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An amazing life story

As a retired cop, I was captivate with this intimate peek at this super cop's law enforcement career, personal challeges and accomplishments. Respect captures my raw feelings. Truly numerous decades of street experience aggressively condensed into just over two. Thinking back of what I read, my reaction is wow! Keep sharing Danny. I continue to be a big fan. I would have loved working with you.

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Nothing Left To Prove

Another fantastic read by Danny R Smith! Although I never worked directly with the author during my 35 year career with the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department I knew him by reputation. I am also familiar with many of the stories in his book. I also know and have worked directly with many of the heroes named in this book. Danny is a terrific writer and this is an amazing memoir. If you have ever worked in law enforcement or have an appreciation for the profession, you will love this book. Highly recommend!

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A riveting Law Enforcement memoir.

To begin, the author gave me an advanced copy. I was asked to write an honest review.
This is my honest review for NOTHING LEFT TO PROVE:

NOTHING LEFT TO PROVE is one of the best, and favorite, law enforcement memoirs that I have read and subsequently listen to. Since the 1960's, my reading of more than one hundred memoirs inspired me to join the police profession in Los Angeles County. Now, as a retired officer with more than thirty years of personal experience, they continue to interest me.

NOTHING LEFT TO PROVE resonates with reality, unlike many others. Too many authors who write these types of memoirs embellish their careers and epitomize themselves as "SUPER STARS" at the expense of their co-workers. This was not the case with NOTHING LEFT TO PROVE.

I read the book with a consuming interest; so much, that I did not want to put it down. NOTHING LEFT TO PROVE elicits an abundance of emotions resulting from crime, suspects, and victims that weigh heavily on the mind, heart, and soul.