This ‘Force’ is definitely with me

It’s a moment my nephew Joey and I have been waiting for for almost a year. Turns out we weren’t alone.
The moment is the release of the new Don Winslow book “The Force.” It hit bookstores Wednesday morning, June 20. Joey was at the register at the Barnes & Noble at Arena Hub in Wilkes-Barre with two copies (one for him, one for me) at 9 a.m. and the clerk says, “I’ve sold nine copies of this book already today.”
We’re weren’t surprised.
Joey, who is 35 and would much prefer we call him Joe but old habits die hard, has become my tennis partner, good friend and book buddy. I’m more than 30 years his senior but it never seems to get in the way.
I may have introduced him to Don Winslow but I can’t say for sure. He may have stumbled upon him by himself. I got turned on to Winslow by my friend Mike Lupica, the New York Daily News sports columnist. Lupica doesn’t even know I exist but I’ve been reading him for so long I consider us pals.
Lupica is a big Don Winslow fan. Although he writes primarily about sports he does not hesitate to sprinkle in a little politics or social commentary. If Lupica thinks you should be reading Don Winslow he tells you. And if he tells me I should be reading Don Winslow, I read Don Winslow.
Joey and I read Winslow’s “The Power of the Dog” first last summer and followed it immediately with “The Cartel.” They call those two the “Cartel Series” but Joey and I both agree you don’t have to read them in order and you can read one and not the other and still enjoy it. But if you read one, you WILL read the other.
Lupica started talking about “The Force” close to a year ago and even did a bit of a countdown. “Only six week’s to Don Winslow’s ‘The Force’,” he might tease, as if we needed teasing.
I was out running a few errands when Joey dropped off the book yesterday afternoon. It was close to 5 when I got back and I had a list of gardening things I wanted to get to before dark. But I’ve been trying to be diligent about hydrating so I poured a big glass of water and sat down and opened “The Force” figuring I’d read maybe a dozen pages just to get the feel of it before going outside. Except for a dinner break I did not put it down. I was at page 212 when I finally went to bed.
It’s that good.
Joey and I played tennis this morning. It’s about a 20 minute ride to the courts. Guess what we talked about the whole way?
“The Force,” which can be described simply as a cop novel, is sitting next to me as I write. I still have yesterday’s gardening to catch up on and a bunch of other things on my agenda. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit Mr. Winslow is going to have a lot to say about how many of those things get done.

Ed Ackerman