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John Mackie

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John Mackie was born in Brooklyn and attended New York City public schools. At twenty-three he joined the New York Police Department. He spent many years in the elite Street Crime Unit, retiring as a sergeant.  John Mackie’s novels (Manhattan North, Manhattan South, West Side and East Side) feature the fictional detective Thornton Savage and his homicide task force.

Publisher’s Weekly said of Manhattan South, “Retired NYPD Detective Mackie captures the character of Manhattan in his gripping debut novel, the first in a new series featuring Detective Thornton Savage and his homicide task force. When Candace Mayhew's husband travels for business, she joins her Gambino-mob boyfriend for a clandestine meeting. With a tap of a trigger, the lovers lay dead. Later that same morning, Andric Karazov plays with his toy Napoleonic Calvary and thinks about the less-than-perfect job he just completed, and a senator in Queens contemplates his run for the presidency while his wife enjoys another rendezvous with her Russian lesbian lover. As Savage soon realizes, all of these people are linked to Candace Mayhew. It isn't long before he closes in on the assassin and his life is threatened, but after one shootout goes awry and another leaves two men dead, Savage becomes the target of an internal investigation and is stripped of his car, gun and badge. Nevertheless, Savage continues to track the killer and ultimately uncovers a plot involving infidelity, extortion and political intrigue. Mackie stuffs this well-plotted police procedural with street-savvy details, but his meticulous play-by-play can be excessive he includes the make and model of everything, including Savage's shoes. Still, Mackie writes with authority and presents a street-wise protagonist that readers will welcome.”

Publisher’s Weekly said of Manhattan North, “Fans of Mackie's debut, Manhattan South, will be pleased to note that NYPD Det. Sgt. Thornton Savage, the larger-than-life protagonist of this high intensity police procedural, hasn't lost his hard edge or his renegade impulses. Set in the heart of Harlem, the novel opens with the brutal murder of Horace Grimes, a notorious drug kingpin. Savage and his homicide squad take the case-which turns out to be the latest in a series of gruesome drug-czar slayings. But after the lead investigator, one of Savage's longtime friends, is killed, the case turns personal. Savage arrests Derek Ogden, who has made a fortune running the city's most ruthless drug ring, but he lacks the evidence to hold Ogden and his sadistic protege. While Savage builds his case, Ogden arranges for the detective's fiancee to be killed, which sends Savage on a manhunt. Mackie excels at creating grisly imagery and dissecting intricate police work for lay readers. Unfortunately, he isn't as adept at writing about interpersonal relationships. The dialogue between Savage and his bride-to-be feels forced. Likewise, when Mackie tries to convey his characters' emotions, his prose often becomes overly dramatic. Nevertheless, the book's relentless pacing and spine-chilling suspense will keep readers on their toes.”

According to the book description of West Side, “In a Manhattan bar, two strangers pick up a soon-to-be-dead look-alike for one of them. After pulling off a flawless one-and-a-half million dollar insurance fraud, the perpetrators decide that one perfect scam deserves another. As Detective Sergeant Thorn Savage and his Manhattan South Homicide squad enter the investigation, they are drawn into the city's seamy underbelly where dangerous fun-and the answers to an ingenious murder case-await those who know where to look.”


According to the book description of East Side, “With the New York Archdiocese, the mayor, and the police commissioner all cranking up the political heat, Detective Sergeant Thornton Savage and the Manhattan South homicide squad are in a race against time to catch a priest-killer before he strikes again. Nothing will stop them-not even if their efforts uncover something that could bring down the whole Roman Catholic church.”

Manhattan South
John Mackie  More Info

West Side
John Mackie  More Info

Manhattan North
John Mackie  More Info

East Side
John Mackie  More Info

About the New York Police Department (NYPD):

The first law-enforcement officer began to patrol the trails and paths of New York City when it was known as New Amsterdam, and was a Dutch settlement and fort in the year 1625. This lawman was known as a "Schout – fiscal" (sheriff – attorney) and was charged with keeping the peace, settling minor disputes, and warning colonists if fires broke out at night. The first Schout was a man named Johann Lampo.


The Rattle Watch was a group of colonists during the Dutch era (1609 - 1664) who patrolled from sunset until dawn. They carried weapons, lanterns and wooden rattles (that are similar to the ratchet noisemakers used during New Year celebrations). The rattles made a very loud, distinctive sound and were used to warn farmers and colonists of threatening situations. Upon hearing this sound, the colonists would rally to defend themselves or form bucket-brigades to put out fires. The rattles were used because whistles had not yet been invented. The Rattle Watchmen also are believed to have carried lanterns that had green glass inserts. This was to help identify them while they were on patrol at night (as there were no streetlights at that time). When they returned to their Watch House from patrol, they hung their lantern on a hook by the front door to show that the Watchman was present in the Watch House. Today, green lights are still hung outside the entrances of Police Precincts as a symbol that the "Watch" is present and vigilant.


When the High Constable of New York City, Jacob Hays retired from service in 1844, permission was granted by the Governor of the state to the Mayor of the City to create a Police Department. A force of approximately 800 men under the first Chief of Police, George W. Matsell, began to patrol the City in July of 1845. They wore badges that had an eight-pointed star (representing the first 8 paid members of the old Watch during Dutch times). The badges had the seal of the City in their center and were made of stamped copper.





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