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William J. Caunitz Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

One Police Plaza (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Suspects (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Black Sand (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Exceptional Clearance (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cleopatra Gold (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Pigtown (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Chains of Command (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

William J. Caunitz was a New York-based police officer who used his experiences in the law enforcement department to craft best selling thrillers. He joined the New York Police Department after working for an insurance company and serving in the Marine Corps. He was enlisted as a patrolman but later rose through the ranks attaining the Lieutenant possible and later as a detective squad commander. William Caunitz wrote vividly in his books vivid descriptions of his day to day life as a cop. He has been compared to Joseph Wambaugh by the New York Times.

His debut novel One Police Plaza was published in 1984 after undergoing countless rewrites. The novel was adapted for the big screen in 1986 starring Robert Conrad. The movie got a sequel, The Red Spider in 1988. Caunitz’s books center around one or two cops that follow the complex police procedures to solve multiple crimes with the addition of elements of thrillers. Surprisingly, Caunitz never wrote outlines for his books; he would let the plot evolve as he was writing. His novel Chains of Command was published posthumously and completed by Christopher Newman.

Black Sand

In Black Sand, we meet Major Andreas Vassos, a Greek detective on vacation with his wife and son at a Greek tourist town when they come upon an assassination attempt targeted on two Greek cops. Andreas grabs one of the downed cop guns and returns fire which wounds one of the killers, but this sparks a firing spree which results to the killing and wounding of several civilians. The later investigations come to reveal that the assassins were all Americans and soon Andreas finds himself sent to New York to working with Agent Teddy Lucas to find out the person behind the assassination attempt. At the same time, Andreas is also on the hunt for an ancient document thought to have belonged to Alexander the Great. Plenty of cop action in and around New York City as the clues begin surface revealing the identity of those behind the murders and the whereabouts of the document.

Black Sand by William J. Caunitz is the tale of an unlikely collaboration between Detective Teddy Lucas, the man in charge of quirky and earthy New York cops and Andreas of the Hellenic National Police, a man determined to recover his country’s loss and unleash his revenge. With the help of a gorgeous curator of ancient manuscripts and KGB liaison man, Lucas and Vassos follow the twisted clues that take them from the blood-soaked streets in Greece to the shadowy underworld of art traffickers. This is also the story of a love affair that changes Lucas and Teddy’s life and the creation of a strong friendship bond that will lead to the liberation of their haunted past.

With total assurance, the author moves his characters both main and supporting through layers upon layers, both crooked and straight of the Athens and New York City. He brings back to life the underground corners of the two big cities, drawing on the arcane and interesting knowledge that the cops acquire about the two worlds that synchronize in all civilized societies where set rules and laws maintain the thin line between the prey and the predator. But when that thin line is broken, William Caunitz immerses the reader into a word that only law enforcement officers know about and rarely discuss. Black Sand is a compelling, fast-paced narrative that will capture your attention right from the opening pages to its explosive climax.

Cleopatra Gold

The Cleopatra Gold follows the attempts of two divisions of the New York Police department to infiltrate a world-class heroine gang. The intelligence man on the inside in this story is none other than Alejandro Monahan who has spend the last couple of years after his father was shot down cultivating the cocaine king Che-Che Morales so successfully such that the dope king considers him his blood brother and his patron and does not suspect anything about Alejandro’s scheme to airlift some drug shipment to New York city using a state of the art delivery system.

Meanwhile, even though the narcotics boys have no idea that Intelligence already has an inside man in Morales cocaine gang, they send a rookie, Fiona Lee to a training facility in Hacienda under a new identity, Belle Star. She meets Alejandro identifying himself as Jesse James. Alejandro is then flown back to Mexico to demonstrate his state of the art delivery system. Che-che’s family is back in the Big Apple, where the two undercover agents will meet again.

Chains of Command

Chain of Command is one of the brilliantly written and original police procedural. It was also William J. Caunitz’s last book before he died and completed and published posthumously by Christopher Newman as per William’s family request.

A New York Police Department cop is sent into a district to be the second in command and the person responsible for all field operations of the district detectives. But his real task is to investigate the allegations that there are corrupt detectives in the precinct. From there, the action takes off with the start of a large scale drug war between different divisions. There are plenty of twists and turns in the plot, most of which are hard to see, but some are fairly easy to see, especially if you pay attention to the story. The story moves along at a steady pace and will keep you turning pages to the twisted climax.

Overall, Chains of Command is a great police procedural novel with a feel of being part of a book series, a series that was ended by the author’s death. Like any other good book series, you are never in doubt to the fact that the main character is going to make it. The characters are beautifully woven, but the plot is the primary thing. The story has a comfortable TV film feel to it, and it’s a good read when in the motel room, waiting at the airport or when enjoying summer shine at the beach.

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