We’ve all read gritty, NYC crime dramas and police procedurals before, but Joseph M. Monks’ Torn to Pieces, hits harder and cuts deeper than most. The chemistry between Detectives Jack Whelan and Burton Carver is similar to Joe R. Lansdale’s brilliant Hap Collins and Leonard Pine novels; I hope Monks has more Whelan/Carver tales to tell. Either way, Torn to Pieces is a hell of a start, with quick pacing and genuinely suspenseful scenes. No matter what your personal or political stance, chances are good you’ll never look at the abortion issue the same way again after reading this novel. Monks has published strong short fiction in the horror genre (“Stuff Outta My Head“), made a film (“The Bunker“), and created the iconic Cry For Dawn comic book. Torn to Pieces is his debut novel, and it’s an impressive effort, his most mainstream work to date, yet one that packs an emotional and visceral punch you won’t find in most crime fiction.