The Calling: The Making of a Veteran Cop' is a must read for recruits
Although The Calling is a fictional novel, it gives readers a sense they are climbing into the squad or walking the beat with the book's main character, Officer Dan McCarthy
When I speak with my good friend and PoliceOne colleague Dan Marcou, we almost always have "a thing" to discuss, but our conversations will frequently also take unexpected turns down paths we just happen along as we exchange ideas rattling around in our heads.
That's precisely what happened a few months ago when the topic of his first book, The Calling: The Making of a Veteran Cop, came up. During that call back in January, Dan mentioned how there was a common theme seen in reports written by recruits after reading The Calling (it's been required reading at Fox Valley Technical College in Wisconsin since 2008). At my urging, he read a couple of things they'd said about it and I was struck by how similar those comments were to my own personal memory of the book.
I've read all three of Dan's books, and always list them among my favorite reads authored by my columnists, but hadn't read The Calling in quite a while, so I thought it would be fun to re-read it and do a column on it that would include comments from those students. Consequently, we both left that phone call with an "assignment" to complete. I would re-read The Calling and Dan would work on getting permission for me to use some comments from those students who loved the book as much as I do. What follows is the result of that collaboration.
Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief, Editor's Corner
Read an Excerpt
There has always been, and will always be, an intense public interest in police work. The reason for all the interest in what cops do is, to put it quite simply, police work is intensely interesting. There have been many thrilling, heart-wrenching books written about police work. Some of our favorite characters in books, on television, and in movies are cops. There are Columbo; Dirty Harry; Riggs; and Walker, Texas Ranger, to name a few.
I am venturing to give you one more book about cops. The slight difference is that this is a novel written by a real cop, about a fictional cop named Daniel McCarthy. It will take place during McCarthy’s formative years, and it will chronicle McCarthy’s first five years in the challenging career that is law enforcement. I hope it gives you a sense of police work that may be slightly different and, hopefully, as engaging as other police stories you have enjoyed in the past.
I like to describe police work like a roller coaster ride. There are highs and lows. There are slow times, suddenly punctuated by moments of tear-producing laughter or sheer terror. At times, you wish someone would let you off. When the ride is finished and you do get off, you are very glad you took the ride but not quite sure you would take it again.
When my son was very young, we used to love to ride roller coasters. We had a roller coaster motto that went like this, “The higher, the faster, the upside-downier, the better.” That motto fits for a career in police work also—as long as you survive.
Hop on! Enjoy the ride.