Mahoney, Dan 1947-

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Mahoney, Dan 1947-


Born September 21, 1947, in New York, NY; son of Daniel P. (a police officer) and Dorothy (a homemaker) Mahoney; married, 1972; wife's name Carolyn; divorced, 1993; children: Daniel, Kerri-Anne, Kevin. Education: John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1977. Hobbies and other interests: Skiing, traveling.


Home—Levittown, NY. Agent—Tim Hays Literary Agency, 27 W. 24th St., Ste. 603, New York, NY 10010. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer, private investigator. New York City Police Department, New York, NY, police officer, 1969-89, retiring as captain; Holmes Detective Bureau, private investigator and operations manager, 1989-; has also worked for the Department of Homeland Security, beginning 2002. Military service: U.S. Marine Corps, 1964-68.


Mystery Writers of America.



Detective First Grade, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1993.

Edge of the City, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1995.

Hyde, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1997.

Once In, Never Out, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1998.

Black and White: A Novel, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1999.

The Two Chinatowns, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2001.

The Protectors, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2002.

Justice, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2003.


Dan Mahoney, the author of numerous police procedurals, turned to writing after a twenty-year career with the New York Police Department (NYPD). He continues to share his writing time with a full-time career as a private investigator. His books are thus informed with insider knowledge of the world of crime and detection. Many of Mahoney's books feature NYPD Detective Brian McKenna, "brilliant but unassuming," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer, and are noted for their authentic attention to detail. As the Publishers Weekly reviewer continued, "Mahoney is a genius at transforming the details of the workaday police grind into a spellbinding thriller." Similarly, David Pitt, writing in Booklist, described Mahoney's novels as "hard edged and realistic," as well as "graphic in their portrayal of violence."

Mahoney's first novel, Detective First Grade, appeared in 1993. Recently transferred to Brooklyn, Brian McKenna is introduced in this debut novel, a second grade detective whose chances at promotion to first grade seem remote until a traffic incident escalates and propels McKenna into uncovering a drug ring. Already present in this first novel are Mahoney's trademark humor and "flawless" ear for dialogue, as a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted. The same contributor called the novel "gripping and exciting," as well as "rollicking."

Mahoney followed this first novel with Edge of the City, "a cleverly plotted cat-and-mouse tango," according to People contributor Pam Lambert. In this installment, McKenna comes out of Florida retirement to save New York City from the machinations of the Peruvian terrorists known as Shining Path. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly felt this novel "moves at a city-brisk pace, delivering crisp and stylish entertainment." Higher praise came from a writer for who concluded that Edge of the City offers a "shining example of what a police thriller can aspire to become, in the hands of a writer as inspired as Mr. Mahoney."

Similar praise greeted Mahoney's third novel, Hyde, which Booklist contributor Wes Lukowsky termed an "excellent procedural, tightly plotted and stylishly written." Here McKenna is on the trail of man who is killing the homeless, all of whom appear to have been AIDS patients. A Publishers Weekly writer noted that despite the somber theme of Hyde, the novel remained "astonishingly, up-beat and energetic, even chipper" in tone. The same reviewer further thought the book was "smart, brisk entertainment."

In his fourth outing, Once In, Never Out, McKenna goes international, as he stalks a terrorist around the world in an attempt to foil a bomb attempt on New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade. In the fifth book in the series, Black and White: A Novel, McKenna returns to the investigation of homicide in a "compelling, graphic procedural," according to Booklist reviewer Lukowsky. Here he teams up with a real-life detective following the leads on a politically-charged case of serial sex murders. A Publishers Weekly writer felt "few authors map the political minefields faced by cops on a high-profile case with more realism than Mahoney."

In The Two Chinatowns NYPD Detective Cisco Sanchez is featured with McKenna playing a secondary role. Visiting Toronto with his lover, Sue Hsu, Sanchez is thrust into action against an ancient Chinese crime league when Sue is killed by one of their gang members. Sanchez vows to track down those responsible in this "ambitious thriller," as a Publishers Weekly contributor described the novel. Lukowsky also had praise for The Two Chinatowns in Booklist, calling it a "topdrawer procedural."

In the 2002 addition to the series, The Protectors, McKenna and Sanchez team up to investigate the kidnapping of Spain's ambassador to the United States by Basque separatists. Lukowsky, again writing in Booklist, termed this "fine reading for those who like their crime dramas complex, authentic, and played out on an international stage." Similar praise came from a Publishers Weekly reviewer who concluded: "Action, suspense, plot twists and innovative police work all come together in this timely thriller."

Mahoney's eighth novel, Justice, takes its name from a self-style vigilante who deals out rough justice in New York to drug lords. Now McKenna and Sanchez are assigned to track him down and suspect that he may, in fact, be a cop. Nicholas Fonseca, writing in Entertainment Weekly, favorably noted Mahoney's "ear for sharp dialogue" as well as his "propensity for narrative surprises." A critic for Kirkus Reviews found the same work a "winning but far-too-convoluted tale," but still praised Justice as a "career peak" for Mahoney. Lukowsky had stronger praise for the same work and the entire series, calling the McKenna and Sanchez books an "exciting series, … propelled by two of the most engaging detectives this side of the 87th Precinct."



Booklist, February 1, 1997, Wes Lukowsky, review of Hyde, p. 928; February 1, 1998, David Pitt, review of Once In, Never Out, p. 904; April 15, 1999, Wes Lukowsky, review of Black and White: A Novel, p. 1482; May 1, 2001, Wes Lukowsky, review of The Two Chinatowns, p. 1636; August, 2002, Wes Lukowsky, review of The Protectors, p. 1931; July, 2003, Wes Lukowsky, review of Justice, p. 1870.

Entertainment Weekly, August 8, 2003, Nicholas Fonseca, review of Justice, p. 81.

Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2002, review of The Protectors, p. 908; June 1, 2003, review of Justice, p. 774.

Library Journal, October 1, 1999, Stephen L. Hupp, review of Once In, Never Out, p. 150.

People, September 11, 1995, Pam Lambert, review of Edge of the City, p. 34.

Publishers Weekly, March 22, 1993, review of Detective First Grade, p. 70; July 3, 1995, review of Edge of the City, p. 52; November 18, 1996, review of Hyde, p. 62; May 10, 1999, review of Black and White, p. 57; June 18, 2001, review of The Two Chinatowns, p. 55; July 8, 2002, review of The Protectors, p. 28; June 30, 2003, review of Justice, p. 53.


Dan Mahoney Home Page, (January 29, 2007)., (January 29, 2007), review of Edge of the City.