Uncle Janice: Book summary and reviews of Uncle Janice by Matt Burgess

Uncle Janice

A Novel

by Matt Burgess

Uncle Janice by Matt Burgess X
Uncle Janice by Matt Burgess
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2015
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A New York City cop who can last eighteen months in Narcotics, without getting killed or demoted first, will automatically get promoted to detective. Undercover narc Janice Itwaru is at month seventeen. Ambitious, desperate for that promotion, she hits the sidewalks of Queens in her secondhand hoochie clothes, hoping to convince potential criminals—drug dealers, addicts, dummies, whomever—to commit a felony on her behalf. And things aren't any easier back at the narco office, where she has to keep up with the bantering lies and inventively cruel pranks of her fellow uncles while coping with the ridiculous demands of her NYPD bosses.

With an ailing mother at home, her cover nearly blown, quota pressures from her superiors, and rumors circulating that Internal Affairs has her unit under surveillance, Janice is running terribly short on luck as her promotion deadline approaches. Now she has to decide which evil to confront: the absurd bureaucrats at One Police Plaza, or the violent drug dealers who may already be on to her identity.

Bursting with the glorious chaos of the New York City streets, Uncle Janice is both a deeply funny portrait of how undercover cops really talk and act, and a compelling story of their crazy, dangerous, and complicated lives.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [O]utstanding.... This fresh take on the cop novel genre retains the madcap energy of Elmore Leonard's best fiction while introducing the most irresistible police precinct this side of Joseph Wambaugh's Hollywood Station." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. Is it possible that Burgess is doing for Queens what Junot Diaz is doing for New Jersey? No easy answer just yet, but this novel will make you wait for one to show up." - Kirkus Reviews

"[G]ripping, well-written book set on the mean streets of contemporary Queens.... Burgess...has a finely honed eye and a gift for rendering street-smart dialogue that is both credible and comic." - Publishers Weekly

"[A] vivid portrayal of life on the streets, which swings from funny to gut-tighteningly suspenseful… a tour-de-force." - Booklist

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Author Information

Matt Burgess

Matt Burgess is the critically acclaimed author of Dogfight, A Love Story. A graduate of Dartmouth and the University of Minnesota's MFA program, he grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens.

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