‘Five and Twenty’ by Robbin Ramos —BOOK REVIEW

About ‘Five and Twenty: An NYPD Cop Story:’

Genre: Autobiography; True Crime; Romance

Facing insurmountable odds and fighting for reinstatement and retribution, former patrolman Robbin Ramos pulls no punches. Experience the pulse-pounding ebb and flow of dangerous New York streets during the Rudy Giuliani administration, on the eve of 9/11.

Want to know what it’s like being a rookie cop in one of the most dangerous precincts in America? Sit in the passenger seat, buckle up, and prepare yourself for a wild ride.

Originally released in 2003 as “Lost Wings: The True Story of a Disgraced NYPD Cop,” FIVE AND TWENTY is the thrilling story of a promising police career cut short.

“In the past, I desperately wanted to prove to the world that I was a good writer, a good cop, and a good person. Now, I’ve got nothing left to prove. In this revised edition, I have only one goal: To finally set the record straight.” – Robbin Ramos

After reading this book, you won’t be able to look at the New York City Police Department in the same way again.

I have also reviewed these other titles by Robbin Ramos (aka RC Robbin):
Savasana’s Kiss: A Yoga Love Story

Writing (or reading) an autobiographical piece is not like doing so with a work of fiction. With true stories, there’s so much added pressure. Did I remember that correctly? Are my feelings leading me to wrongly defame others or exaggerate the situation? And of course the ever-looming: what if nobody believes me? When it comes to true crime such as ‘Five and Twenty,’ these demands are especially powerful.

I mention all this because I feel Robbin Ramos has managed to present his case- a story that is clearly incredibly dear to him- without dramatizing things past their basic truths. That said, he fully relays the anger, excitement, hopefulness, and hopelessness of his experience in a way that had me feeling just the same on his behalf.

‘Five and Twenty’ tells the story of a young man who, much on happenstance, decided to take the tests and training to become a cop within the New York Police Department. It wasn’t something he had been thinking on for anytime prior, but rather having randomly heard of the benefits of the career, thought he’d give it a shot. When he passes and is approved for probation, he quickly finds how much being a police officer means to him, as if he had been longing to become one for years.

But we knew from the beginning this wasn’t going to go well.

The book alternates between Robbin’s mostly happy days as an officer and the end days of his career until finally, the two eras meet up. I really loved this technique. Not only does it keep the reader on their toes emotionally to make the entire experience quite intense, it perfectly illustrated just how rapidly your whole life can change. Something you would never anticipate in this moment might come to pass in the next second.

I’m not talking just about a life event. I’m also referring to, as this story shares, how tentative relationships with the people around you truly are. In the light of “concrete evidence,” your trust of each other amounts to nothing. After all, which would you believe? The nice guy coworker with a clean track record or the identical results of repeated laboratory tests? Really think about that one…

I don’t want to say anything else so I can avoid spoilers. Do go and check the story out if anything here appeals to you. Heads up! If you’re like me, you’re going to be extra angry at a certain fine print detail about those lab tests that is revealed during the conclusion.

Read on Kindle Vella!

Buy ebook on Amazon Kindle!

Buy paperback on Amazon!

You can find the author on:
Twitter @rc_robbin
Goodreads (RC Robbin)
Goodreads (Robbin Ramos)
Instagram @rc_robbin

((reviews submitted to Amazon, Amazon Vella, and Goodreads))

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~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden


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