Bronx Justice by Bob Martin
Since Bronx Justice was published, I’ve been asked many times how I made the transition from cop to writer.
The book is based on a case I worked as a captain with the Bronx Homicide Squad in 1990. We had a group of white, wanna-be-wise guys, dubbed “The Cowboys” by our detectives, team up with a black drug gang, "The Crew." Rival drug dealers would be targeted.
The Cowboys, impersonating plainclothes police officers, would “arrest,” read, kidnap the dealers. Ransom demands were made. If paid, the victim was cut loose. If not paid, a bullet in the head and another body dumped on a Bronx street.
The year 1990 saw a record 2,605 homicides in New York City, with the Bronx alone recording over 600 murders. This was the height of the “Crack Wars.” With some outstanding work by a team of dedicated detectives, the case was solved and all the perps were convicted in federal court. Years later, as I continued to share this story, people kept telling me, “That would make a great book.” I agreed, and after sixteen years of starts and stops I finally wrote the story
My writing journey began with a story I did about legendary Queens Homicide Lieutenant, Dan Kelly. He had been doing homicide work in Queens for over thirty years when I became his boss in 1989. I was pursuing my college degree at the time and taking a course called, NYPD History. I entered the squad one night as Dan was discussing a homicide he had worked in October, 1963. As I listened, I thought, "JFK was President, I was a high school freshman, Dan was working homicides!"
I interviewed Dan for a term paper. My teacher, an ex cop thought the piece was good enough to get published, and in 1991 it appeared in The Badge magazine. I have had numerous articles published in various newspapers and magazines.
In 1999 my “The Joint Terrorist Task Force-A Concept That Works,” appeared in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. Most are personality pieces, law enforcement, terrorism or sports stories. My first writing paycheck came from a story I did for New York Newsday, “A Team and a Family,” published in 2008. Sticking to the concept of “write what you know,” it was a story about the NYPD football team. I was a charter member, played for a dozen years and founded the team’s alumni association, so I was on very familiar ground.
Most recently I’ve had three law enforcement related Op-Eds published in the New York Post. I am currently working on my next writing project, a series of NYPD short stories, tentatively titled “NYPD-Tales From The Street."
Served with the NYPD for 32 years in a wide variety of commands that included the fabled Tactical Patrol Force (TPF), the Street Crime Unit, Mounted Unit, the 72nd, 69th, 6th Precincts, Queens and Bronx Detectives, and finally as the CO of the Special Investigations Division. Martin was a charter member and played for a dozen years with the NYPD’s Finest Football Team.
He served for twelve years on the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) “ Committee on Terrorism” and traveled extensively, in this country and abroad, speaking on the subject. He retired as a Deputy Inspector in 2000 and began writing. His stories have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers. Bronx Justice, based on an actual case, is his first novel. He plans to continue his writing career.
“There are no crime stories quite as good as a New York crime story. With Bronx Justice, Bob Martin adds another good read to that list.”
Bill Bratton,former NYPD Police Commissioner