Fighting crime with his keyboard
By day he is a police officer, but after hours he is ‘‘ Angus McLean – crime writer’’.
His true identity remains a closely guarded secret.
‘‘It’s simply because of my job. Police are under a lot of scrutiny anyway from the public.
‘‘And, because of the sort of work that I do, you deal with particularly bad guys. If they can find a chink in your armour, they will,’’ he says. It also adds to the allure. ‘‘This wasn’t the point, but I’ve heard people at work talking about it which is quite cool,’’ he says.
Years in the job and a stint as a private investigator, have given McLean plenty of inspiration for the Chase Investigations ebook series.
‘‘Because I’m saying I’m a cop, people will assume that everything is based on reality, when it isn’t.
‘‘It’s fiction. There are elements of different characters that come from real people, but none of them are actual people.’’ Writing has been a lifetime hobby. The stories centre around former police officer turned private eye Dan Crowley and his firm Chase Investigations, which is based in Ellerslie.
He faces off against all kinds of criminals with the help of his wife Molly, his old mate Mike and the local Ellerslie policeman.
‘‘They’re entertainment rather than really heavy literature,’’ McLean says.
‘‘I don’t have anything against heavy literature, but it’s not my bag. I read to be entertained. You want to be transported away from your normal life for a little while.
‘‘It’s something I do to kick back and relax. I never showed my writing to anyone for years and years, and finally I just thought: ‘I’m pretty sure I can write better than some books that I’ve read’,’’ he says.
McLean is a big fan of 80s television shows such as Magnum PI and MacGyver There’s an innocence about them, which comes across in his own writing.
‘‘Television and crime shows generally are quite dark, violent and gritty and I think the television shows of the 80s weren’t really like that. They were a lot more innocent. The violence wasn’t over the top.
‘‘Someone didn’t have to die every episode. Not everyone is a raving alcoholic or a cop on the edge.’’
McLean’s books have proved to be popular and have been among the top 100,000 ebook sellers on Amazon.
‘‘It’s not like I’m going to retire on them or anything, but it’s quite a nice buzz to know that people do read them. I like the idea of leaving a legacy behind for your kids or your grandkids, so they can look at it and think Dad wrote that, or Granddad wrote that.’’
An Auckland cop has gone from crime fighter to crime writer and launched a series of ebooks.