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4 Novelists That Are Former Police Officers

By    |   Thursday, 11 Jun 2015 11:37 AM

Donning the uniform, patrolling crime-ridden streets, and witnessing the cruel and gritty realities of life have provided the experience and inspiration for some former cops to write their best-selling novels.

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Here are 4 novelists who began their careers as police officers:

1. Dorothy Uhnak
Uhnak became famous for taking down an armed mugger and arresting him as a 125-pound New York City Transit Authority policewoman, an incident she wrote about in her memoir, according to The New York Times.

Uhnak graduated from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice before becoming a policewoman and immersing herself in New York City’s gritty, crime-filled streets.

She later wrote nine novels inspired by her experiences, including The Bait, her first novel and the winner of the Edgar Award for best first mystery novel, The Witness, and The Ledger, all of which starred NYPD Detective Christie Opara.

Uhnak also wrote Law and Order, which was modeled after The Godfather and explored three generations of a police family. 

2. James Byron Huggins
Huggins began his career as a journalist with the Hartselle Enquirer before turning towards helping persecuted Christians and smuggling information in and out of Iron Curtain countries for the Christian Underground in Eastern Europe.

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He then returned to journalism for a brief period of time before serving on the Huntsville, Ala., police force.

After his time there, he turned to writing novels, including best-welling Christian thrillers: Leviathan and The Reckoning, as well as the mainstream successes Cain and Hunter, both of which were picked up by film companies, according to News Release Today. 

3. Joseph Wambaugh
Wambaugh served with Los Angeles Police Department while simultaneously writing novels about life out on the streets until his growing fame as a bestselling author hampered his work with the department, according to NPR.

He has often been called the “father of the modern police novel” and has won multiple awards for his work, including various Edgar Allen Poe awards and the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award.

Some of his well-known fictional works include The New Centurions, The Onion Field, and The Blue Knight about the LAPD, all of which became films. 

4. John M. Wills
Wills, a former Chicago police officer and retired FBI agent, has won 26 writing awards for his fiction and non-fiction, and some of his best-known works include the award-winning trilogy Chicago Warriors and the non-fiction work Women Warriors: stories from the Thin Blue Line.

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Donning the uniform, patrolling crime-ridden streets, and witnessing the cruel and gritty realities of life have provided the experience and inspiration for some former cops to write their best-selling novels.
novelists, police officers, writers
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2015-37-11
Thursday, 11 Jun 2015 11:37 AM
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