Cover image for Honor for sale
Honor for sale
Kelly, Gerald E.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Sharon Pub., 1999.
Physical Description:
xxi, 278 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3561.E3936 H6 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A former NYPD narcotics detective presents a tale of greed and avarice in the NYPD that focuses on the theft of five hundred pounds of pure heroin confiscated by the cops, investigating police involvement in the crime.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Altering characters, details and dates, Kelly, a former police officer, offers a partially fictionalized account, spanning the years 1969-1976, of the theft of 500 pounds of narcotics from the NYPD's Property Clerk's office. The stolen drugs had a street value of $82 million and included 112 pounds of pure heroin seized during the famed "French Connection" case. Kelly, who acknowledges that "some scenes and dialogue are invented," writes with admirable energy, and his potent dialogue crackles with street authenticity. Kelly was 23 when he joined the NYPD's Narcotics Bureau in 1967. He graduated to the Bureau's elite SIU (Special Investigating Unit) two years later and was a highly decorated detective by the time he left the force in 1978. With numerous name changes, Kelly's tale focuses on SIU detective "Joseph Graziano," who replaced suitcases of drugs with flour during various visits to the Property Room over three years. As investigations of corrupt SIU detectives got under way in 1972, Graziano died under suspicious circumstances. At the time, his death was labeled a suicide, but Kelly asserts he was murdered. A few months later, thousands of breeding red flour beetles revealed the suitcase switches, and the subsequent grand jury indictments of former SIU detectives brought headlines. The events related here were previously described in Gregory Wallance's 1981 Papa's Game, which opens with Wallance announcing: "The people are real. No names have been changed." Kelly doesn't display enough dramatic flair to make his book fly on narrative alone, and by cloaking the truth, he robs his book, interesting as it is in parts, of its authority. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This is a cops-and-robbers story, but the cops are robbers and not necessarily brought to justice. We follow several star detectives from New York's choice special narcotics investigating unit (SIU), including one who stole the "French connection heroin," during the years 1969-76. These cops are confident and appear successful, but behind the facade they are unscrupulous, corrupt, violent, racist, and cavalier. They are more likely to keep a drug dealer's money and his drugs for resale than to arrest him and might later do business with him. They even murder one of their own when it looks like he might "turn." Kelly was a member of the 74-man SIU, but it's not clear what portion of the action and the racy dialog he witnessed and what is reconstruction in this "partially fictionalized" memoir. His style is reminiscent of Vincent Murano's in Cop Hunter (LJ 6/1/90). Kelly's inclusion of the political machinations at the city and state level and the attempts made to indict these rogue cops adds another dimension to this true tale. Recommended for public libraries and criminal justice collections.√ĄJanice Dunham, John Jay Coll. of Criminal Justice Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.