Since 1974, when he published The Wanderers at 24, Richard Price has been writing memorable novels about police and criminals, but I believe that his talent has lifted him beyond genre and made him simply one of the finest American novelists, period. His ninth novel reinforces that view. It’s a masterpiece, to stand with such earlier Price classics as Clockers and Lush Life.
“I tend to like crime for a backbone,” Price once said. “An investigation will take you through a landscape.” That’s his strategy in The Whites. His initial focus is veteran New York Police Department detective sergeant Billy Graves, who confronts two life-defining challenges, but The Whites is also...
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