A local civic association president, who is a private sector security expert, has written a novel with a former journalist about two characters in search of justice in a world inhabited by corrupt politicians and police officials.
The fictional piece by past New York Magazine journalist Craig Horowitz and Bill Stanton, City Island Civic Association president, is called Badge of Evil.
The book’s plot centers around two characters: an investigative reporter named A.J. Ross, and a freewheeling private investigator, Frank Bishop, as they try to bring down power hungry New York City Police Commissioner Lawrence Brock.
The story hinges on Brock’s take down of an alleged terrorist cell.
The flamboyant Stanton and the more reserved Horowitz both believe that their decades of knowledge of how the inner circle of New York City politics and policing works provides the novel a believable plot.
“The novel basically is a thriller that has international and homegrown terrorism, corrupt out of control cops, rap stars, drug dealers, and this kind of inside look at the corridors of power that we are able to provide because of our experiences,” said Horowitz.
Stanton was once a business partner with a NYPD assistant commissioner Jack Maple, who is credited with developing the CompStat crime tracking system.
Horowitz penned stories about major New York crime cases, including one of the worst cases of police brutality in NYPD history: Abner Louima in 1997.
The men met while Horowitz was working on story about the Louima torture controversy. He needed a police perspective and interviewed Stanton, a former cop in the south Bronx.
The book is for adults, indicated Stanton, and it is not for the faint of heart.
A quick scan of the first few pages of a draft version of the book includes characters engaged in intravenous drug use, prostitution, stripping, sadism and masochism.
Stanton and Horowitz have a three-book deal with publisher Regan Arts.
The writing process is collaborative, said Stanton, with the former private investigator coming up with general ideas for the book and then collaborating with Horowitz, a professional writer, to flush out the details.
“Everyone who knows me can say they hear my voice,” said Stanton. “The irony here is that I could not articulate that voice myself. I needed my partner to capture that.”
Stanton says he is more of a visual-oriented thinker, having grown up watching television.
He said that the book would not have been possible without the collaboration with Horowitz.
Stanton is also an acclaimed television producer and has appeared on several network specials regarding personal safety and security issues.
After 20 years in New York City’s media, covering numerous mayoral administrations and police commissioners, Horowitz now has a corporate communications career.