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Undercover

Former WC officer pens novel based on experiences with narcotics unit

“The sweltering Iowa sun beat down upon me like a heavy blanket as I prepared myself to enter the sanctum of the unknown. With my CI at my side, whom I have to rely on with my life, we enter the garage where I find myself staring down the barrel of a 12-gauge shotgun. The training I have to depend on are my wits and my will to survive.”

That passage is from the cover of a newly-published book by a former Webster City law enforcement officer who draws upon his experiences working undercover with a narcotics unit.

Phil Queen’s book, … And Hell Followed, was published on March 1. The central character in the book is based on Queen and the character’s name was the name he used in undercover work. He said while the story relates to his background in law enforcement, the book is a work of fiction.

The title of the book also comes from his undercover days.

“When I was doing these undercover jobs, I was part of a make-believe outlaw motorcycle club, The Pale Riders. I designed the club patch and had the patch and vest professionally made,” Queen said. And he would wear the vest on some of the undercover drug buys.

“At the center of the patch was a verse from the book of Revelations, “Behold, I saw a pale horse and his name that sat on him was Death, and hell followed,” he said.

While the stories in the novel are based on actual narcotics operations, Queen said the names of individuals and the towns were not disclosed.

“I did that for the secrecy of the operations that took place,” he said.

Queen has long had a desire to write, but until he retired, he had little time to do so and he wasn’t exactly sure what to write about. He started taking some college classes, including creative writing, which continued to ignite that desire to write.

“Once I retired, I found I had more time on my hands and I decided to start writing,” he said. “And I found that writing was very therapeutic. So I started writing and writing and it kind of evolved into this book.”

He signed on with Newman Springs Publishing, based in New Jersey.

“The company was very author-friendly and understanding. Everything I submitted for the book, I had the final say,” he said.

The book was published on March 1 and is available on Amazon in both hardcover and paperback form, and is also available as an eBook. The book is also available on the Barnes and Noble website.

His second book, which is currently being edited, is scheduled to be published in September or October. That book is a sequel to …And Hell Followed.

Local residents will have a chance to meet the author and purchase a copy of the book at an event planned for May 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Five 1 Five Realty in downtown Webster City. Queen will be on hand to visit with guests and sign copies of …And Hell Followed.

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