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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
The 3-0 by Liborio Lungaro is a story that is based, as the subtitle aptly puts it, on a True Story of the Largest Police Corruption Scandal in New York City's History: The Dirty Thirty. Set in the 1990s, the book follows this historic event in the New York City Police department, involving the arrest of thirty-three police officers in the Thirtieth Precinct in Harlem. The author explores the impact of a political system that doesn’t serve the interests of the people, the effects of fear, and the power of drug cartels in a dysfunctional community. Other themes include the problems posed by illegal immigration and topics like the rights of citizens and the role of law enforcement in providing protection for them. The reader is introduced to a society that gradually sank toward utter lawlessness with rotten elements in the police department. The story explores the role played by Sergeant Liborio Lungaro and his team of select NYPD officers in bringing in the bad guys within the police department, and in rebuilding trust within the community.
Sergeant Liborio Lungaro is a veteran decorated NYPD officer and readers encounter him in this riveting tale, a true-crime non-fiction story that reads like a twisty thriller in the hands of James Patterson. What sets The 3-0 apart is the vividness with which the author captures the mistrust between the community and the police department. Readers will find compelling commentaries on city politics, crime, and the courage of those who went after the bad guys. While this story follows courageous police officers fighting crime, even from within their own ranks, it provides an insightful historical, political, and social context within which the notorious Dirty Thirty operated. Written in beautiful prose and deftly constructed, this book provides a detailed understanding of a historical event whilst also taking readers on a rollicking, oftentimes risky ride with the heroes of the intriguing tale.