Book delves into life as a Wee Toon rookie cop

Author Simon McLean.
Author Simon McLean.

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A retired detective has told ‘the truth, the whole truth and something like the truth’ in a new book documenting his career from a rookie cop in the Wee Toon to a member of policing’s serious crime squad.

Simon McLean, a ‘Weejie’ who was posted to Campbeltown in 1979 and arrived in the town just out of the wrapper, has penned The Ten Percent, which is based on his more than 40 years in policing.

According to publisher Ringwood, Simon’s book takes the reader on an often hilarious, sometimes scary, always fascinating journey through the ranks of the Scottish police, from his spell as a rookie constable and new detective in Campbeltown, through his career in Rothesay, and to his ultimate goal – the serious crime squad.

The reader is given a unique glimpse of the turmoil caused when the rules are stretched to the limit, when the gloves come off and fire fights fire, and when some of their number decide enough is enough.

The book provides a very rare insight into the world of plain clothes police officers who infiltrate and suppress the very worst among us – the dealers, the shooters, the gangsters and the paedophiles; ‘they need to fall by any means, and that’s a job best delivered by the few willing to do what’s required’ – The Ten Percent.

The Ten Percent has been described as ‘a frank and fearless warts and all’ examination of the role of the police in an ever-changing Scotland, and ‘by far the most entertaining account you’ll ever read’ of the varied realities of life as a Scottish policeman.

World-renowned commentator Archie Macpherson described it as ‘a hugely entertaining read’.

Simon is well known to many in Campbeltown. He says he ‘grew up’ after arriving in the area, and two years later became the town’s detective constable. He married locally and had three children, his youngest Louise passing away in 2011.

His tales relate his many jaunts when the Wee Toon was bustling with trade, Americans and manufacturing, including his exploits playing for local football teams and the well remembered band Horizon.

Simon told the Courier: ‘If and when we ever get back to socialising I look forward to a night in the town when we can release the book for sale properly, because it is a tribute to my late daughter Louise, who, like me, considered Campbeltown as home. It’s a good excuse for a night out anyway.’

Signed first edition copies of The Ten Percent can be pre-ordered online now ahead of the publication date due in late summer.

Copies of The Ten Percent can be pre-ordered now head of its release late this summer.
Copies of The Ten Percent can be pre-ordered now head of its release late this summer.