Edward Conlon
Edward W. Conlon is an author and former New York Police Department (NYPD) officer.


Born in the Bronx, Conlon spent most of his childhood in nearby Yonkers. He attended Regis High School
Regis High School (New York City)
Regis High School is a private Jesuit university-preparatory school for academically gifted Roman Catholic young men located on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Annual class enrollment is limited to approximately 135 male students from the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut tri-state area...

 and graduated from Harvard in 1987 before joining the force in 1995. Conlon's police experience focused on patrolling city-owned public housing developments
New York City Housing Authority
The New York City Housing Authority provides public housing for low- and moderate-income residents throughout the five boroughs of New York City. NYCHA also administers a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program in rental apartments...

, as well as arresting street-level drug dealers after observing their sales from surveillance posts. In 2002, he was promoted to the rank of detective, and was assigned to the Bronx's 44th Precinct. He retired as a Detective, Second Grade, in 2011 after 16 years with the department.


After college Conlon wrote a novel which remains unsubmitted and unpublished. His first published article for The New Yorker was "To the Potter's Field" (1993), a bleak piece about Hart Island, New York. After joining the NYPD, Conlon wrote the Cop's Diary column for The New Yorker from 1997 to 2000 under the pen name Marcus Laffey. In the latest issue of the New Yorker, dated Sept 12. 2011, Conlon wrote a piece in the Talk of the Town section titled "Paying Attention" about 9/11 and his final days with the NYPD detective unit. He plans to continue writing.

Blue Blood

The column resulted in a nearly $1 million advance for Blue Blood (2004), which covers Conlon's years in the NYPD, his work conducting street-level narcotics enforcement in the Housing Bureau, his family's law enforcement background, and various anecdotes about the history of policing. The book received a favorable review on the cover of The New York Times Book Review
The New York Times Book Review
The New York Times Book Review is a weekly paper-magazine supplement to The New York Times in which current non-fiction and fiction books are reviewed. It is one of the most influential and widely read book review publications in the industry. The offices are located near Times Square in New York...

, debuted at #9 on the Times Best Seller list, and remained on the list for two weeks. Conlon appeared as a guest on National Public Radio's talk show Fresh Air
Fresh Air
Fresh Air is an American radio talk show broadcast on National Public Radio stations across the United States. The show is produced by WHYY-FM in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its longtime host is Terry Gross. , the show was syndicated to 450 stations and claimed 4.5 million listeners. The show...

. The book was the basis of a 2007 television pilot
Television pilot
A "television pilot" is a standalone episode of a television series that is used to sell the show to a television network. At the time of its inception, the pilot is meant to be the "testing ground" to see if a series will be possibly desired and successful and therefore a test episode of an...

that NBC commissioned but ultimately did not order.

Red on Red

Conlon turned to fiction with this novel of police life that strays from actual NYPD investigative practice. Nick Meehan, a New York City detective slipping into mid-career burnout, is assigned a special case for Internal Affairs to investigate a suspected dirty cop. Meehan and his new detective partner, Esposito, look into a variety of other cases, including the apparent suicide of a recently-arrived Mexican immigrant woman, gangland slayings by rival drug dealers (called "red on red" or criminal on criminal killings), and a serial rapist. In between writing about crime, Conlon's book examines the personal lives of his two main characters, the alliances and loyalties, the emotional tolls, the temptations, the shades of gray inherent to police work. The pace may be slower than the average thriller, but this novel was targeted to appeal to readers of literary crime writers such as George Pelecanos, Dennis Lehane, and Richard Price.
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