I still maintain that a author who knows his stuff writes with greater
authority than a author who just wings, and that this is obvious to a
reader regardles of the reader's inside knowledge. I wasn't always a
cop; I read my first Elizabeth Linnington when I was 14. Even then I
was unconvinced. Ed McBain, on the other hand, obviously wrote with
the comfort of deep familiarity. *Dragnet*, say what you will about
it in its 60s-70s incarnation, always got the LAPD details right.
Shows like *SWAT*, *The Rookies*, *Starsky and Hutch* did not. And it
was obvious that they weren't making nearly as great an effort to get
things right as Webb was. I've never lived in LA; I have few
acquaintances in the LAPD. I make this judgment not on my "superior
insider's knowledge," but on my perceptions as a reader (or viewer). -
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