The Detective (novel)

This article is about the Roderick Thorp novel. For the Arthur Hailey novel, see Detective (novel).
The Detective

1986 cover art
Author Roderick Thorp
Country United States
Language English
Genre Thriller, Detective
Publisher Dial Press (1st Edition)[1]
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 598 pp
ISBN 0-8488-0375-2 [1]
Followed by Nothing Lasts Forever

The Detective is a thriller/detective novel by author Roderick Thorp, first published hardcover in 1966. It was made into the 1968 movie of the same name, starring Frank Sinatra, as Detective Joe Leland. Billed as, "An adult look at police life," The Detective went on to become one of the highest grossing films of 1968 and one of the strongest box-office hits of Sinatra's acting career.

A 1979 sequel, Nothing Lasts Forever, was later made into the 1988 film Die Hard, which spawned a series totalling five films.

Plot summary

Joe Leland, a private detective, begins investigating a case for the recently widowed Norma MacIver. Norma requests that Leland find out everything he can about her deceased husband. Norma requests Leland personally because her husband had mentioned knowing him in the past. It turns out that Leland and Colin MacIver served in the same military unit during World War II, but at different times. Leland interviews Colin's first wife, his mother and the security guards at the track where Colin supposedly killed himself. Norma introduces Leland to her neighbor and former therapist, Dr. Wendell Roberts. During their conversation Wendell reveals that he knew Leland's wife. It turns out Wendell was friends with the man with whom Karen Leland had had an affair. As Leland's investigation deepens he uncovers evidence of corruption and murder. Eventually, Leland discovers that Colin was connected to a homicide during Leland's earlier life with the police department as a detective. During the investigation of Teddy Leikman's death a confession was obtained from Felix Tesla, Leikman's roommate. Tesla was subsequently executed by electric chair. It turned out that Colin MacIver was the true murderer. Joe's partner, Mike Petrakis, managed to decipher Colin's coded notes and reveal a paper trail of corruption.

Characters in The Detective

Major characters

Minor characters

Release details

  • 1966, Dial Press, hardcover, ISBN 0-8488-0375-2[1]
  • April 1, 1986, Delta, paperback, ISBN 0-385-29469-7[2]
  • July 1987, Amereon Ltd, hardcover, ISBN 0-8488-0375-2[3]


  1. 1 2 3 "The Detective 1st Edition". Retrieved 2007-02-02.
  2. "The Detective Delta Publishing". Retrieved 2006-12-12.
  3. "The Detective 1987 hardcover". Retrieved 2006-12-12.
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