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A Dream Come True for Fans of True Crime Podcasts and Police Procedurals

Updated: Mar 6, 2020

The Night Police:

Beyond the Line of Duty

By Chris Berg &

Paul James Smith


“[G]ritty, gut-wrenching true tales of battle-hardened beat cops who ruled the shadows of a sleeping city from the 1970s to the 1990s.”

--Rob Hanley, former writer at The Los Angeles Times; editor at The San Diego Union-Tribune

If you can’t get enough of true crime podcasts, documentaries, and police procedurals, former law enforcement officers Chris Berg and Paul James Smith have written a book that you’ll be unable to put down. The Night Police (March 24, 2020) is a no-holds-barred, unflinching fictionalized version of real events that Berg and Smith experienced firsthand during their time in law enforcement in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. A look behind the curtain of the gritty world of policing, this is a book that will have readers turning pages and leave them wanting more.

Rebellious trooper Max Golden isn't content to spend his career as a humble, rule-following civil servant. Refusing to seek out danger isn't his style. And in the squalid, crime-ridden streets of Bristol City, he finds danger in spades. Undercover drug deals, murders, and more keep him and the other members of the Night Police bonded tightly in their self-made fraternity. Escape, when it's needed, is found in the dark and nondescript Solly's Tavern, where on one particularly damp, cold evening in 1991, this down-at-the-heels saloon hosts four of the Night Police for a cathartic night of drinking. The plan is to let loose and forget for a few hours, but the swapping of increasingly graphic tales leads to the unfolding of a stunning revelation. Will it change the course of their lives and careers?

While The Night Police is endlessly entertaining, it is also rooted in reality. Part of what makes the book so immersive and convincing is the real-life knowledge Berg and Smith bring to the table. The two of them have served in many roles in law enforcement — from patrolman to federal agent to counter-terrorism missions in the Middle East.

“This book is fiction, but it is based in truth,” says Berg. “We were in the trenches, doing the job, and we revel in the adventures and friendships we made as part of the law enforcement family. We wanted to give people a glimpse into the world that we know so well.”

Berg and Smith’s real-life experiences are evident from the story arcs that are occasionally too fantastic to be entirely fictional, right down to the language they use in the book. Visceral descriptions of the sights, sounds, and even smells of policing the streets at night at the end of the millennium will make readers feel like they are quite literally riding along with the characters in this book. Fans of authentic thrillers and true crime stories like those by Joe Wambaugh and Tom Clancy will gravitate towards The Night Police.

About the Authors:

In 1977, Chris Berg became the third generation of his family to sign on as a lawman. Serving as a patrol officer, evidence technician (long before CSI was a thing), and vice/intelligence detective, it was his posting as an undercover narcotics agent that fit him best. He relished the life of hand to hand undercover drug “buys,” clandestine lab investigations, and the requisite counterfeit personae. Chris still revels in the adventures and friendships that come with being part of the police fraternity.

Chris and his wife now call northern California and Boston home. Their daughter Kelsey, currently in grad school, is likely the fourth generation of law enforcement in the family. Chris keeps up with his passions: baseball, fishing, and all things cooking and BBQ, not necessarily in that order.

Paul James Smith served community and country in a variety of pursuits from age 19 to age 59. After completely flunking out at San Diego State, a Marine Corps recruiter handily outsmarted him, and he fell for the old “aviation guarantee.” This launched a long and checkered career of service as enlisted Marine, local lawman, federal agent, and reserve Coast Guard officer. His assignments included command of two expeditionary units, a command in the Maritime Security Force at Guantanamo Bay, and four wartime deployments to the Persian Gulf.

Paul and his wife now live at the edge of Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest: he writes, she gardens; together they go Dungeness crabbing from their kayak. They are enjoying life to the fullest.

For more information, visit Connect with Chris and Paul on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @TheNightPolice.



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