Photo credit: Dee Wambaugh

Thirty years ago I had used up my own police experiences in the writing of my first three novels, so I was forced to do research in order to collect fresh anecdotes and ideas for my fiction. The most sensible approach, and one that I thought would work, was to invite groups of police officers to dinner meetings at good restaurants where they could dine and drink and ventilate.

I learned almost at once that three or four was about the right number at each dine-and-drinks session. More than that and they might talk to their closest dinner partner, and I would miss a lot of the conversation.…

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