Fight­ing crime with his key­board

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

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.’’

Photo: EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Dou­ble life:

An Auck­land cop has gone from crime fighter to crime writer and launched a se­ries of ebooks.

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