I’m a boring guy with little imagination, which is why my writing has always been focused more on fact than fiction. (Fact is easier to write than fiction. It’s already happened, and all I have to do is record it. That doesn’t take me beyond my limited writing capabilities.)
This weakness is reflected in my reading habits as well as my writing style. I read more biography and history than fiction. The “willing suspension of disbelief” thing comes pretty hard for me, and there’s little made-up stuff that makes the cut for being worth my time for entertainment.
Let me share with you two novels that made the cut.
Both are written by Lt. Dan Marcou, a cop retired from a distinguished career in municipal law enforcement in Wisconsin, where he served on a SWAT team and earned a national reputation as a trainer of lawmen. In fact, I first met Dan at a police training seminar in an international venue. I thought his course was excellent (after I was fortunate enough to get out of his demanding force-on-force role-play scenarios in one sweat-soaked piece), and he stayed on my radar screen ever since.
Recently, in well-earned retirement, Marcou came out with a couple of novels that gathered in all he learned and experienced in his decades as a street cop. Dan’s first novel is “The Calling: The Making of a Veteran Cop,” and the second is “SWAT: Blue Knights in Black Armor.” Where does it come from? Well, can we say “autobiographical novel”?
Some of the “fiction” comes from Dan’s decidedly non-fiction experience, and some from his brothers and sisters on The Job where he worked, and some from other departments. There is one chilling vignette that reads as if it came from real life. It should … it did. The female officer who experienced that particular terror was from Ohio, not Wisconsin where Dan had to place her to keep the storyline coherent, but I expect Dan and I were both in the same training hall when her story unfolded. Except for the patch on the shoulder of her uniform shirt, and the fact that Dan had to make her gun a Glock to keep the storyline consistent with the department where it’s supposed to be taking place (she actually used a 9mm Smith & Wesson), this segment of the novel is blow-for-blow, shot-for-shot what actually happened. Yes, right down to the part where the investigators thought one of her two shots had missed her savage and deranged assailant, until the autopsy revealed that both bullets had gone through the same entry hole, and came to rest next to each other in the body of the would-be cop-killer.
If you want perfect grammar and spelling, go read something written by an English teacher. If you want from-the guts, from-the-heart, you-are-there-with-us, and here is why we do it, read Lt. Dan Marcou’s two novels, The Calling and SWAT. You can get them through Barnes & Noble or Amazon, but I would suggest that you go straight to the source and order an autographed copy from the man himself. Hit http://www.ltdanmarcou.com/signed.html, and you can get it done.
I hope you enjoy reading his novels as much as I did.