From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 24 Sep 2002

Ted Wood was born in England, but, after a stint of military duty including combat service in Korea, he emigrated to Canada, where he joined the Toronto Police, serving for several years.

After leaving law enforcement, he spent several years in various jobs, including advertising copy writer
(shades of Hammett), when he got the idea of writing a series of police novels. He felt his own experience would no longer suit a series with a metropolitan setting, since police work had gotten so much more technical. Instead, he did a bit of research and found a small rsort town in Ontario that still had a one-man police force. He decided that this kind of low-tech, rural policing would be closer to the kind of work he did decades earlier, and created Reid Bennett, the tough but compassionate police chief of Murphy's Harbor (Wood's fictional counterpart to the real-life resort town), whose entire force consists of him and his trained German Shepherd, Sam. Just as Wood was a Korean vet, he made Bennett a Viet Nam vet who, while American kids were going north to avoid the draft, went south to join the Marines. Bennett's USMC combat experience gives some credibility to scenes in which he single-handedly cleans the clocks of multiple adversaries (which, as the only cop in town, he is occasionally called up to do).

There've been 10 Bennett books, beginning with DEAD IN THE WATER in 1983 and ending with A CLEAN KILL in 1995. Wood's personal favorite, reportedly, is the second book in the series MURDER ON ICE (aka THE KILLING COLD). Under the pseudonym of "Jack Barnao," Wood's also written a trilogy of PI novels featuring an ex-SAS soldier turned professional bodyguard.

Regretfully, Wood's apparently retired from mystery-writing as is now running a B&B with his wife.

I've always regarded the Bennett novels as my favorite rural police procedurals, and every time I read one I come away with the feeling that being the chief of a one-cop department is the best possible job in law enforcement. Highly recommeneded.


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