NYPD Detective Danny Corcoran, the Brooklyn Bridge behind him, a life of murder and mayhem ahead of him.

After 24 years with the nypd, I’ve turned to a life of crime

By Detective Danny Corcoran, NYPD (RET.)

It was July 2019. I pulled the pin, looked in the mirror, and asked myself the age-old question every retired cop has to wrestle with—Now what do I do?

I was lucky. I had options. A number of prestigious agencies and private companies wanted me to bring the same investigative skills and work ethic to them that I’d honed over the last quarter of a century. Big jobs. Great salary.

You’d think I’d be thrilled. But I wasn’t. My gut reaction to every offer was been there, done that, don’t want to do it anymore. I was done. I needed another ladder to climb.

And then, one day, my phone rang: “Hey, Danny, I just killed someone in the Bronx. What’s the best place to get rid of the body?”

The caller was Marshall Karp. He kills people for a living. But only on paper. Marshall is a #1 New York Times bestselling crime fiction author. We met a few years earlier when he was doing research at the NYPD’s 19th Precinct. I helped him out, gave him my number, and told him to call me anytime he had a question.

He called. Often. Marshall is a stickler for authenticity. He wants his crime fiction to have the ring of truth, so he asks a lot of questions. But this time, he wasn’t just asking for help getting rid of a body. He was offering me a full-time job as a creative consultant.

He couldn’t pay me nearly as much as the private corporations would have. But I didn’t care. I knew that the psychic reward would run rings around any other job I might be offered.

Four years later, it’s still a dream job—the thrill of a lifetime. So far, I’ve helped Marshall kidnap a world-famous reality TV star (NYPD Red 6), unleash a team of five trained assassins on New York’s five boroughs (NYPD Red 7: The Murder Sorority), and strafe Central Park with 4,000 pounds of uncut cocaine (Snowstorm in August).

And despite the fact that I retired from the NYPD as a Detective First Grade, Marshall gave me a promotion. In Snowstorm in August, the central character is a kick-ass crime fighter named Captain Danny Corcoran. Okay—so the gold bars on my uniform are fictional. And maybe the character in the book is taller than I am. And thinner. And has more hair. But I can’t tell you how much fun it is to hang out with my friends and have them ask, “Who do you want to play you in the movie?”

But I do a lot more than help Marshall commit crimes. After 24 years of working as an undercover cop, a hostage negotiator, and a homicide detective, I’m able to tell him how the best-trained police force on the planet would solve those crimes. I’ve also seen my share of departmental politics, so if you see an unqualified buffoon with stars on his shoulders in some of Marshall’s books, feel free to thank me.

People have asked me what I like about the job. I’d have to say it’s watching the sausage get made. Imagine starting with 500 pieces of blank paper and 26 letters of the alphabet and having to turn that into a book. I’m in awe of how Marshall can start with an off-the-wall premise and twist and turn it into an edge-of-your-seat plot, complete with three-dimensional characters—some good, some evil—who you can root for or hate with a passion.

I can’t begin to tell you what it feels like to hold the finished book in my hands and see my contributions on the page. And the icing on the cake is hearing feedback from fellow officers I hold in high regard.

When Maureen Mulcahy, Lieutenant Special Assignment, Office of the Chief of Crime Control Strategies NYPD (RET.) read Snowstorm in August, she wrote the following:

“A compelling plot, with characters you immediately become invested in. Marshall Karp writes with the kind of attention to the details of law enforcement that distinguishes a great book from a good one—a rare find.”

Marshall immediately wrote back to Lt. Mulcahy, thanked her for her generous praise, and closed with, “I couldn’t have done it without Danny Corcoran.”

I loved my career with NYPD, but I also love having a boss who greets me in the morning with a smile and says, “We’ve got people to kill, bodies to bury, and weapons to hide. Let’s get to work.”


Retired First Grade Detective DANNY CORCORAN began his NYPD career in 1995, a decade that saw murders reach a high of 2,605 in a single year. During his nearly 25-year career Danny was assigned to patrol, plain clothes anti-crime, the elite Organized Crime Control Bureau Narcotics Division, and Detective Bureau. In 2015 he was hand-picked for the legendary Hostage Negotiation team. Danny was present for the 9/11 terrorist attack on lower Manhattan and was part of the solemn victim and evidence recovery from Ground Zero in the months afterwards. He has received numerous medals and awards and in 2016 was designated the Manhattan North Homicide detective of the year. Danny is proudest of his department's role in lowering the murder rate by 78% by his final year. He currently enjoys spending time with his wife and three children and volunteering in his community. 

Veteran MARSHALL KARP is a #1 internationally bestselling author, TV and screenwriter, and playwright. Teaming up with James Patterson, Marshall cocreated and cowrote the NYPD Red series, which features Detectives Kylie MacDonald and Zach Jordan as members of an elite police task force dedicated to solving crimes committed against, and sometimes by, New York City's rich and famous. After six bestsellers, Marshall has carried the series forward on his own, beginning with NYPD Red 7: The Murder Sorority. Marshall is also the author of Snowstorm in August, as well as the critically acclaimed Lomax and Biggs Mysteries, featuring LAPD Detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs, who work homicide out of the famed Los Angeles Hollywood Division. For over twenty years Marshall has worked closely with the international charity Vitamin Angels, providing tens of millions of mothers and children around the globe with lifesaving vitamins and nutrients. More at www.KarpKills.com.

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