A book about the exploits of a country cop in Northland is proving such a popular read a second run has rolled off the printing presses.
Former Hikurangi policeman Gavin Benney released his book Country Cop - The life and times of a rural cop in March and has sold all 1000 copies that were produced. It seems his frank and honest account of working on the thin blue line for 30 years has struck a chord with readers.
"I'm surprised it sold out so quickly and there are quite a few back orders as well," said the first-time author. "People come up to me and tell me that they have sat down and read it until 1am because they can't put it down. It's a nice easy read and people says it's really great to hear about some of the stories they didn't know about."
He had visited the Whangarei Library where there were two books for loan and discovered 10 people were on a waiting list to take it out.
The response has been a welcome surprise. "You put yourself out there and open yourself up to criticism but I haven't had any negative feedback."
He read an advance copy of the book and since it was published has only read snippets. While some names were deliberately left out of the books locals in the know would easily be able to fill the blanks, Mr Benney said.
In 1989 Mr Benney took a sole charge posting in Hikurangi, covering a large rural area from Pipiwai to the east coast and from Bland Bay in the north to Ngunguru in the south. He was there for 23 years and the experiences provided great material for the book.
Since publishing the book Mr Benney has remembered plenty more stories that were not included. While he said "never say never" there were no plans at this stage for a sequel.
The book's publisher, Mary Egan, said Kate Ballard had done a great job of recording Mr Benney's story and it had hit a nerve with readers. "It's a part of life that is not really written about. It's not an arty-farty book, it's a real life book."
She said having to have a reprint done within a month of release showed just how popular the book had been.