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Who does this remind you of - detective, Strathclyde Police, surname Taggart?

Wrong! It’s not craggy-faced TV Detective Inspector Jim Taggart who declared the iconic catchphrase ‘there’s been a murder’!   It’s the Council’s Fleet Manager, Patrick Taggart, who has written a book about his thirteen years in the force.

We turned the tables on Pat and tried out our own interrogation skills to find out more.

What’s the background on your move from detective to Council Fleet Manager?

I was a plain clothes detective with Strathclyde Police for 13 years and while the job was rewarding it was also extremely challenging.

I left in 2003 to create a more stable work life balance for my family. My degree came in handy, and I joined the Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration as a Children’s Reporter. Two years later I became the Principal Advisor (Scotland) with the Association for Public Service Excellence working with the 32 Scottish local authorities.

I then joined Falkirk Council in 2009 as a Building Maintenance Co-ordinator. Around eight years ago I was asked to do some work within Fleet and never left! I was appointed Fleet Manager after gaining a Certificate of Professional Competence

What’s the book about?

‘Finger of Suspicion’ is a collection of stories told from my perspective and covers cases I worked on involving robberies, drug searches and murders.  It also includes personal incidents I was involved in.

It provides an insight into policing in the 90s and explains how investigations were managed, the characters involved in running them and the difficulties I faced.

Why did you want to write about your experiences as a detective? 

The book is a personal journey of my time in the force. Many people like a good crime read and my book is based upon actual cases and what can happen during your normal working role as a police officer.

It’s got to be asked – what was the reaction to a detective, in Glasgow, with the surname Taggart?

It was always an issue and I received many funny, and rude, comments!

You’ve said the book is a personal journey for you as you’ve faced some difficult times over the years.  Are there any aspects you’re comfortable to share?

I can’t say, that would be a spoiler alert! You will have to read the book.

How long did it take to write and how did you fit writing in around your job as Fleet Manager?

I’d written a rough draft, but it’s taken me years to do something with it as I knew I had to be mentally prepared to re-live it. Then three years ago I had some major health issues and during my time recuperating I was able to focus and complete the book.

You write under the pseudonym Dale Dawson?

Yeah, at the time I didn’t want to potentially expose my family to any unwanted attention.

What has been the reaction to the book?

Unbelievable! I honestly can’t believe the feedback and comments I’m getting – all positive and complimentary which makes me feel enormously proud and emotional.

Are you planning any more books Pat?

Yes, I’ve now started on the second book which will be more light-hearted although it will cover serious issues and I hope to do more in the future. Who knows where Dawson will go next!

What are you currently reading?

I've started Billy Connolly’s Windswept and Interesting but a long way to go with it. I tend to read different authors, more depending on what is current or if something grabs my attention.

Finger of Suspicion is available from Austin Macauley and in various formats from Amazon