A FORMER detective who had to leave the force after being injured in a riot between neo-Nazis and IRA sympathisers has published his first novel – about corrupt police officers in Edinburgh.
Dougie Teviotdale, who helped investigate a number of murders as a detective constable over a 20-year career with the force, launched A True and Just Cause last night at the city cafe where JK Rowling famously wrote the first Harry Potter book.
And the 62-year-old also shared a stage with another of Edinburgh’s literary giants after giving a speech alongside Ian Rankin at the last-ever Lothian and Borders Police party for ex-officers before the introduction of a single force.
Mr Teviotdale, who lives in Sighthill, said: “The novel is about corruption in Edinburgh’s police and the country’s politicians. I’ll try to be diplomatic but I did see some low standards among officers while I was on the force and that has influenced some of it, but it’s really been a product of my imagination.
“I started the book about five years ago and it was kind of stopping and starting from then. About three years ago I was in Munich for New Year and was on steroids for an injury. I started to fill notepads with material and had loads when I came back home. That was really when it began.
“I sent it to publishers but with so many thousands of manuscripts out there it was difficult to get in the door.
“I put it up on Amazon at Christmas, and it’s sold about 500 copies so far. But the official launch was organised for the Elephant House, the cafe where Harry Potter was born, so I’m in good company.
“I’ve had a lot of great reviews on Amazon, which is encouraging, although a few ex-cops who I didn’t get on with have left snide reviews.” Mr Teviotdale was joined recently at the Police Club in York Place by Rebus author Ian Rankin to mark the last gathering of former ‘A’ Division officers before the Scottish force comes into effect.
He said: “I had to take the stage before him which was quite nerve-wracking. I talked about my book and he talked about his interactions with the police. I never got the chance afterwards to pick his brains about writing unfortunately.”
Mr Teviotdale, who is married with three children and five grandchildren, was a military policeman between 1971 and 1979, including a two-year stint in Northern Ireland during the height of the Troubles. After leaving the army, he joined Lothian and Borders Police before being injured in a brutal incident at a Southside pub 13 years ago.
He said: “It was after a James Connolly march in Edinburgh. There were National Front supporters trying to fight with IRA sympathisers and I was on duty. It kicked off inside the pub. I went for the ringleader of the National Front to help stop it and we ended up rolling about on the ground. I twisted my back and had to leave the force as a result.”
Mr Teviotdale has started work on the sequel and plans a third and fourth in the series.