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This work traces the emergence of the police officer as hero and the police novel as a significant popular genre, from the cameo appearances of police in detective novels of the 1930s and 1940s through the serial killer and forensic novels of the 1990s. The work chronicles the ways in which changes in the law and society have affected the actions of the police and shows how the protagonists of police novels have changed in gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, and age over the years. The writers examined include Julian Hawthorne, S.S. van Dine, Ellery Queen, Erle Stanley Gardner, Ed McBain, Chester Himes, MacKinley Kantor, Hillary Waugh, Dorothy Uhnak, Joseph Wambaugh, Bob Leuci, W.E.B. Griffin, and Carol O’Connell.