Walk the Blue Line Book Summary - Walk the Blue Line Book explained in key points
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Walk the Blue Line summary

James Patterson and Matt Eversmann

They walk the line between life and death

4.2 (13 ratings)
15 mins
Table of Contents

    Walk the Blue Line
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    Key idea 1 of 4

    An alcoholic, a brave dog, and respect

    Jock Condon is a police officer working in the Midwest. Before coming to the US the Scot served as a cop in the UK’s Royal Air Force.

    On this occasion, he’s sitting alone in his car, in the pouring rain at 2:00 a.m., when he’s dispatched to an ongoing burglary in a home close to where he’s parked.

    As he steps out of his car he hears gunshots from inside the house. As he goes in, he’s gripped by images of the time he served in Iraq and in Afghanistan. He wonders if this time, his luck will run out? His mind racing through images of his son waking up the next day without a father.

    He looks inside a Jack and Jill bathroom and sees a chubby guy with a huge white beard lying inside, bleeding through a wound in his chest. He doesn’t look like a threat. Jock walks into a bedroom where an inconsolable man is lying on the bed, his terrified wife by his side.

    It turns out the man with the white beard is an alcoholic who got drunk and walked into the wrong house! Jock manages to keep him alive till the medics come. Thankfully, he lives.

    Seven months before the house incident Jack was called to put a fatally-wounded deer out of its misery and was transported back to Afghanistan as he pulled the trigger. It wasn’t his first flashback – they kept coming – and he knew they’d continue. He sought help from a psychologist and was diagnosed with PTSD. The medication and therapy he received help him recover. Now he’s helping other cops get help, too.


    Brian Sturgeon is a K9 handler – he uses dogs to find and arrest offenders.

    One particular night, he’s outside a house waiting for a suspect with Argo, a brave police dog, when the suspect appears. Argo darts over a fence and drags him down. As they tussle on the ground the craziest thing happens – another dog appears and attacks Argo. Brian tries to shoot the other dog but his weapon malfunctions and then the other dog starts to attack Brian too.

    As the two men and two dogs struggle, the suspect takes out a box cutter and starts tearing at Argo. Eventually, Brian manages to shoot the other dog. Brian’s team arrives on the scene and arrests the suspect. 

    Argo is taken to a vet where he’s treated for his bad wounds. Ten days later, he's back to work.


    Tim O’Brien left the mortgage business to join law enforcement. As a Boston kid who knew a lot of people in the civil service growing up, he’s drilled his sense of respect into his kids. If they ever disrespect a cop, he tells them, this strict policeman and his wife won’t take it.

    Tim’s sitting at his mother-in-law’s house one dinnertime waiting for his wife when he gets a call. The officer on the phone tells him that his son was inside a car that’s been pulled over. There were five kids in the car but Tim’s son wasn’t driving, and he was respectful.


    Fifteen minutes later Tim’s phone rings again. It’s the same cop. He sounds amused. The reason? He’s just pulled over Tim’s wife and daughter for overspeeding on the same road.

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    What is Walk the Blue Line about?

    Walk the Blue Line (2023) is a collection of real-life stories from police and law enforcement officers working across the United States. Their experiences detail the good, the bad, the gory, and the lasting influence these events have on their lives.

    Who should read Walk the Blue Line?

    • Anyone with an interest in policing
    • Organizations seeking dialogue between communities and law enforcement
    • Citizens trying to understand what it feels like to work as a policeman in the US

    About the Author

    James Patterson is one of the biggest names in publishing with over 400 million books sold. Some of his most popular books include titles in the Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, and NYPD Red series. He’s partnered with best-selling writer Chris Mooney and army veteran Matt Eversmann of Black Hawk Down fame to publish real-life stories from nurses, soldiers, and police officers.

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