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Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite
“CurbChek” by retired Police Officer Zach Fortier is a gritty, behind the scenes look at the day to day existence of a city patrol officer on night shift. This is fiction only in the sense that the geographic areas in which he worked are not identified, and names are changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Officer Fortier relates some incredibly appalling situations in which he played a significant role and some loathsome situations where the good guys didn’t always win. His stories instilled in me a greater sense of respect for the men and women who put their lives, their marriages, and their personal relationships on the chopping block to serve and protect the innocent from become victims of those who would do them harm. Sadly, he also exposes the ugly underbelly of office politics hindering good, honest police officers from doing their jobs while under the direction of the egocentric wannabe “brass”. In that regard, the street cop faces the same brown-nosing, butt-kissing, back-stabbing, “good old boy” system and nepotism faced by most of the actual working class in this country, and perhaps other countries as well.
Zach Fortier has published four books in this same vein, but it would be wrong to call them “a series”. I can’t speak about the other three – yet – but “CurbChek” is flawlessly written and utterly fascinating. It is one of those rare books where, when you check the page number you are on, you are amazed at how far you have read since the last time you checked. These stories are nearly impossible to turn away from until you have read them all. Fortier has graphically and accurately portrayed night life in the inner city; a part of life nine-to-five suburbanites do not see, and may not believe. The author has presented an honest look at a slice of real life. You will do yourself a favor to read what he has written.