COPS WRITING CRIME
As an ex-cop who writes crime fiction, one of my key desires with the genre is realism. On the occasions I have read crime fiction written by other ex-cops, I have never failed to really appreciate and enjoy the realism those authors impart to their work.
I've so far read 4 crime fiction authors who have been cops, or a private eye in one famous case. My first, and this was when I was a young cop myself, was Joseph Wambaugh from the USA. Then came another American, Dashiell Hammett, a PI in his time, and one of the original masters of the hard-boiled form, which has become my all-out favourite sub-genre, and hence what I write in my own work. Next was a fellow Sydney-sider and ex-cop from Australia, P.M. Newton. Most recently I discovered a French ex-cop, Laurent Guillaume, who has one of his book translated into English.
So earlier this year I decided upon a little project to research a list of all the cops and ex-cops who have become crime fiction authors. This page is my library of them. And the next part of my project is to read at least one example from all of them.
WELCOME TO THE SQUAD!
A.B. PATTERSON - Australia.
Well, you're on my website...
Anyway, I'm a former WA Police Detective, and I worked corruption cases at the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption. Now a licensed PI.
My protagonist is PI Harry Kenmare, featuring in Harry's World (2015). The sequel will be out this year.
JOSEPH WAMBAUGH - USA.
Wambaugh served with the LAPD.
He has been a prolific author, and I fondly remember reading some of his when I was a serving officer myself. The realism gripped me then, as it still does now.
Some examples: The Choirboys (1975), The New Centurions (1971), or The Blue Knight (1972). And there are a lot more, as well as some non-fiction.
DASHIELL HAMMETT - USA. (Deceased 1961)
Hammett needs no introduction, being the father of the hard-boiled school. He wrote private eye novels, but he had worked as a PI for the Pinkertons Agency, so was able to bring his experience to bear on the realism of his writing. He joins the Squad on that basis.
He wrote several novels, as well as numerous short stories. Perhaps his most famous title: The Maltese Falcon (1930).
P.M. NEWTON - Australia.
Newton is formerly a Detective in the NSW Police.
So far, two crime novels with the protagonist Detective Nhu "Ned" Kelly, set in Sydney.
See: The Old School (2010) and Beams Falling (2014).
LAURENT GUILLAUME - France.
Guillaume is a former French police officer and Detective, and also a police advisor in Mali.
He has written a number of novels, but only one has so far been translated into English. White Leopard (2015) is set in Mali, and features the protagonist PI Solo Camara. I have to admit this is a favourite of mine in the hard-boiled class.
I couldn't find a specific website, but check out: www.lefrenchbook.com
J.M. PEACE - Australia.
Peace is still a serving officer in the Queensland Police.
So far, two crime novels with the protagonist Constable Sammi Willis. A third is in progress...
See: A Time To Run (2015) and The Twisted Knot (2016).
KAREN M. DAVIS - Australia.
Davis is formerly a Detective in the NSW Police.
So far, two crime novels with the protagonist Detective Lexie Rogers. The third is due on the shelves in the next few months...
See: Sinister Intent (2013) and Deadly Obsession (2014).
CLARE MACKINTOSH - UK.
Mackintosh served as a Detective in the British Police (Thames Valley Police Force).
Two crime novels: I Let You Go (2015) and I See You (2016).
LUKE DELANEY - UK.
Delaney was a Detective in the Metropolitan Police (London).
A series of crime novels with the protagonist DI Sean Corrigan.
An example: Cold Killing (2013).
CAROLINE MITCHELL - UK.
Mitchell served as a Detective in the British Police (not sure which Force).
A series of crime novels with the protagonist DC Jennifer Knight.
An example: Don't Turn Around (2015).
RICK REED - USA.
Reed was a Detective in Indiana.
He has written a number of crime novels with the protagonist Detective Jack Murphy.
An example: The Cruelest Cut (2010).
R.J. MITCHELL - UK.
Mitchell served with the Strathclyde Police (Scotland - U.K.)
A series of crime novels with the protagonist DS Gus Thoroughgood, and other works.
An example: Parallel Lines (2011).
SUNNY FRAZIER - USA.
Frazier spent years as an "undercover narcotics secretary" with the Fresno Sheriff in California. I'm not quite sure whether she was a police officer, but clearly she worked the scene in law enforcement and now writes crime, amongst other things, so I've included her in the Squad.
An example: Where Angels Fear (2009).
RYAN SAYLES - USA.
Sayles was a police officer in Kansas.
He has a number of novels to his name.
An example: The Subtle Art of Brutality (2012).
No website found, but his blog is at: vitriolandbarbies.wordpress.com
MARY BURTON KING - USA.
King was a criminal investigator with the US Navy's NCIS.
She has several novels to her name, with some supernatural aspects to crime.
An example: Beatrice Belladonna's Black Magic Web (2014).
DARRYL DONAGHUE - UK.
Donaghue was a detective with the UK Police (Metropolitan, I believe).
A series of crime novels with the protagonist PC Sarah Gladstone.
An example: A Journal of Sin (2013).
ROGER PEARCE - UK.
Pearce was a senior officer in New Scotland Yard. A number of novels with the protagonist DCI John Kerr - blend of crime and thriller.
First one: Agent of the State (2012).
DON EASTON - CANADA.
Easton was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A number of novels with the protagonist Jack Taggart, of the Mounties (RCMP).
An example: Loose Ends (2005).
RICHARD ALLEN - UK.
Allen was an officer with one of the Police Forces in the United Kingdom. A number of novels with the protagonist Superintendent Mark Faraday.
An example: Dirty Business (2012).
JOAN LOCK - UK.
Lock was an officer with one of the Police Forces in the United Kingdom. A number of novels (historical crime set in Victorian London) with the protagonist Inspector Best. (Lock also writes non-fiction crime and police works).
An example: Dead Image (2000).
MIKE WORLEY - USA.
Worley was an officer with the Idaho Police Department. A number of novels with the protagonist Detective Angela Masters.
An example: Retribution (2012).
DONALD HARSTAD - USA.
Harstad was an officer (Deputy Sheriff) with the Iowa Police Department. A large number of novels.
An example (his debut): Eleven Days (1998).
ROBIN BURCELL - USA.
Burcell was an officer with the Lodi Police Department for over 20 years (their first female officer). A large number of novels, TV tie-ins, and now co-authoring with Clive Cussler.
An example: Face of a Killer (2008).
ISABELLA MALDONADO - USA.
Maldonado was an officer with a US Police Department for over 20 years. One novel, another one coming, and some short story anthologies.
An example (her debut novel): Blood's Echo (2017).
BRUCE ROBERT COFFIN - USA.
Coffin was an officer and detective sergeant with the Portland Police Department, Maine, for over 25 years. He also worked in the FBI for several years.
Already has three novels out with the protagonist Det.Sgt. John Byron.
An example (his debut): Among the Shadows (2016).
DENNIS GRIFFIN - USA.
Griffin was an officer in New York State for many years.
He has written a number of crime fiction works, and also pens crime non-fiction.
An example of his fiction: Vegas Vixen (2008).
NICHOLAS RHEA - UK. (Deceased 2017)
Rhea (pen name of Peter Walker) was an officer in the Yorkshire Police in the UK in the 60s. His Constable series became the basis for the well known TV series Heartbeat.
One example from many: Constable at the Gate (1997).