Not since best-selling novelist Joseph Wambaugh, former Los Angeles police detective, took the literary world by storm in the late ‘60s, has a professional crime fighter been able to draw readers into the inner world of street gangs as vividly as former investigator-turned-
storyteller Brian O’Neill. O’Neill’s City of Destiny grabs us from the start as it follows the tumultuous life of police sergeant Michael Cassidy and his longtime friend, Lieutenant Nate Orlando. Surprising twists and turns abound in this fast-moving tale that keeps us wondering who are the bad guys really?
When a woman comes between the friends and the bloodiest gang war Tacoma, the City of Destiny, has seen in decades erupts on their watch, everything changes.
As one reviewer wrote: “…a fascinating portrayal of toxic rivalries and tension [both] inside a police department and the war zone outside.”
Brian O’Neill was raised in an Irish enclave in San Francisco, where his immigrant parents worked long hours to put their three children through Catholic schools. He studied English literature at the University of Washington, remaining in the wet Pacific Northwest to get
married, attend the police academy, and raise two boys (in that order). His experiences as a Tacoma police officer became the fodder for his first writing job as an editorial writer for the Tacoma News Tribune. This soon led to a promotion as a columnist.
“Blue Byline,” his popular column in the Tacoma News Tribune, garnered both local and national attention. It also offered him the opportunity to speak publicly about his experiences as a police officer and gang investigator, both as a speaker and interviewee.