Dirty C.O. by Rod Ballard is an exciting thriller with a realistic plot and storyline. Dirty C.O. is set against the backdrop of the criminal justice system and the police who work to uphold it. Dirty C.O. tells the story of one such man, Tristan Irving, a correctional officer with a small family of his own. The story begins with an introduction to Tristan himself in the first person and his encounters as an inexperienced correctional officer as he learns the ropes. Working closely with inmates in the prison, Tristan meets the good, the bad, and the ugly. When the opportunity comes his way of making some extra cash, he decides to take it just that one time. However, as is usually the case, the money becomes more and more of a draw until Tristan blurs the line between right and wrong on a regular basis.
I thought Dirty C.O. by Rod Ballard was an exceedingly well written novel and I found myself engrossed in the book and wondering what would happen to Tristan. Tristan, as the main protagonist, is well portrayed with shades of grey, just like everyone else in the world. Although the struggle is between right and wrong, Rod Ballard’s handling of the issue is such that I could honestly see both sides of the story. This novel offers a realistic perspective on the motivations as well as challenges that people face every day in choosing between right and wrong. The depiction of what truly happens inside prisons, the portrayal of inmates, and the rough and tough life that sometimes goes along with it is well done. Overall, this is a great book and a thrilling suspense read that I would certainly recommend.