Q: Dear Mr. Hodel:
Who are some of your favorite fiction authors? With your background in police work have you ever thought of writing a mystery novel like Joseph Wambaugh? Do you know him?
R.D. San Francisco, California
A: Don’t really read many novels. Have only read maybe 10% of “the classics”. Maybe I can catch up on those in my “mature years.” In my younger days my favorite author was Hermann Hesse. Read ALL of his novels. Particularly liked his Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game.
As far as writing mystery fiction, don’t see it in future, but one never really KNOWS. I have avoided reading murder mysteries, have read very few. Too much like a busman’s holiday I guess?
I didn’t know Joseph Wambaugh on the job, but have met him several times at various book/police talks/functions. I very much enjoyed his early books, The Onion Field, The Blue Knight, Choirboys. Haven’t read his later works. (As a point of interest, the “Onion Field” kidnap/murder of LAPD officer Ian Campbell occurred on March 9, 1963. At the time I was just starting my second month training at the LAPD police academy. I recall that Commander John “Two Gun” Powers came to our academy class and presented a Special Order stating that “under no conditions will any police officer ever give up his firearm to a suspect.”
My favorite fiction author today? Has to be Michael Connelly. Got hooked on his Harry Bosch series in 2004. We have met several times and he is a really great guy both in and out of public view. Michael wrote the below quote for Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder in 2004. What’s not to love about the guy?