A RETIRED police officer turned author has just released a book chronicling his time in force.

Paul Hurley has been working as a full-time writer since hanging up his cap and badge in 2002, scribing about local history, including for this very paper in his weekly 'Looking Back' features.

'The Good, The Bad & The Crafty' is a police autobiography from the robust 1970s all the way up to Paul's retirement just after the turn of the Millennium at the age of 55.

For Paul, who began his career in the navy before a near 30-year stint in the police, working in a number of roles, including as an undercover officer on drugs operations.

"There are so many things to write about that happened during my career," said Paul, of Northwich.

"It was quite a cathartic experience to delve into some of the really interesting cases and stories I dealt with.

"The book is written with a strong sense of cynicism and humour, enabling the story to flow comfortably from humorous anecdotes to heart-rending sadness."

Northwich Guardian:

Among the stories Paul regales in the book include when he managed to rescue a little girl who had been kidnapped from a school playing field.

"It was the day before the Berlin Wall came down," he explained.

"I worked completely alone on the job and I managed to recover the little girl.

"The story made the front pages of all the daily newspapers.

"Then there was another story about how I found £27,000 worth of heroin hidden a bed in a flat.

"I'd been working undercover at the time.

"That amount of drugs would be probably worth more than £100,000 today.

"I remember the day an African woman got sentenced for her role in the plot.

"She seemed to take the sentence given to her very well.

"But just after she was taken down to the cells, we heard an almighty scream in the court.

"It turns out the woman thought she had been given 18 months only to be told by the guards it was actually 18 years."

Northwich Guardian:

The book, which spans some 80,000 words is full of stories about Paul's career, which included investigating plenty of murders.

One of Paul's proudest achievements during his time in the police was setting up Operation Granite, the most important and successful operation of its kind at the time looking into child abuse at care homes.

The Good, The Bad & The Crafty is available to buy on Amazon now, priced at £17.99 in hardback and £8.99 in paperback.