A Cop's Life

True Stories from the Heart Behind the Badge

Sgt. Randy Sutton

St. Martin's Paperbacks

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A COP’S LIFE...
is about a midnight call that brings you to a grandmother battered to death in her bed while three punks go running and laughing through the night....

A COP’S LIFE...
is about the man in the Ninja outfit who absorbs a full magazine of hollowpoint bullets and still raises his gun to kill you...

A COP’S LIFE...
is about the honor student, the pride and hope of his family, hanging from a speaker wire, or the baby who dies in your arms, or the people who think you’re a hero—or the devil...

In this powerful collection of tales from the frontlines, Las Vegas police sergeant Randy Sutton goes beyond the neon into the dark corners of society, putting us into the driver’s seat of his cruiser and a job that ricochets from moments of sheer terror to coffee-fueled boredom—with stops on the way at every conceivable act of human folly and depravity. With a poet’s touch, and the unflinching realism of a crime scene photograph, A COP’S LIFE is the ultimate depiction of the hardest job there is.

“Brilliantly evokes the tormented inner life of the average cop.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A compelling, sometimes wrenching, always insightful read that takes us into the soul of a working cop.”
--John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of The Second Chair and The Motive


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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One 
Johnny’s Last Day
 
My life as a cop began with a death on a muddy locker room floor. As I look back on that moment now, nearly three decades later, I wonder if that tragic event was a portent of my future, if my fate, my career, had been irrevocably bound to trauma and anguish and grief. It was not an auspicious beginning but an ironic one, and now, as I trace my life in uniform back to its earliest days, as I wend my way emotionally and spiritually past so many ghosts—of cops and criminals and victims and bystanders alike—back to those earliest days, the first

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Reviews

Praise for A Cop's Life

“With a novelist’s skill, Sutton makes fresh situations that could, in lesser hands, come across as hoary clichés. The broken lives Sutton encounters—the suicides, gangbangers, the mentally ill, the burnt-out officers tempted to eat their guns and the innocents in the wrong place at the wrong time—come vividly to life...unflinchingly portrays the stresses that plague him when his best efforts to protect or save lives fell short.”—Publishers Weekly

“Las Vegas police sergeant tells it like it is in 20 brief tales from the beat and wins wide acclaim for his honesty and his craftsmanship.”—The Atlanta Journal Constitution

“Another gritty, intimate look at the day-to-day life of the cop on the beat, going behind the investigations and arrests to reveal the truly funny and weird things that can, and often do, happen to cops in the line of duty…[a] powerful and emotionally charged book…filled with real-life stories that are touching, harrowing, and haunting…the next best thing to actually being in a patrol car with a cop on duty, and better and more real than any screenplay or work of fiction.”
--King Features Syndicate

“Brilliantly evokes the tormented inner life of the average cop…with a novelist’s skill, Sutton makes fresh situations that could, in lesser hands, come across as hoary clichés…poignant and well-written tales of the real world of policing.”—American Police Beat

“Compelling.”—Las Vegas City Life

"Randy Sutton has written a powerful firsthand account of the life of a street cop that will give you a glimpse into a world about which the average citizen knows absolutely nothing."
--Phillip M. Margolin, New York Times best-selling author of Sleeping Beauty and Lost Lake

"A Cop's Life is a compelling, sometimes wrenching, always insightful read that takes us into the soul of a working cop. Randy Sutton has lived it all from the idealistic dream to the alcohol-haunted nightmare, and he lays it all out in prose that marks him a true craftsman. The last chapter, The Messenger, bears comparison with O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi for all-time terrific Christmas tear-jerker. I highly recommend this book."--John Lescroart, New York Times best-selling author of The Second Chair and The Motive

“Randy Sutton’s A Cop’s Life is a remarkably honest, insightful, and moving account of its subject. Where do these men and women get their courage, how do they maintain their hope, what keeps them from writing in the face of the worst tragedies life can dish out? Read the book and Sutton will show you. Like the cops themselves, you’ll be crushed by the horror of incidents like those recounted in ‘My Child’ and ‘The Man of the House,’ then uplifted—hell, redeemed—by magic moments like the one Sutton describes with affecting grace in ‘The Journey.’ This is a stunningly good book by a gifted writer. Thanks, Randy, for lifting away the badge and exposing the enormous heart behind it.”—Barry Eisler, author of Rain Storm and Hard Rain



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About the Author

Sgt. Randy Sutton

RANDY SUTTON is a Senior Sergeant at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Nevada. A member of the Screen Actors Guild, he has appeared in several big screen movies and HBO movies including Casino, Fools Rush In, and The Road Home. On television, he has appeared on COPS, America’s Most Wanted, and Las Vegas. He is the editor of and a contributor to True Blue, a collection of true police stories written by officers from across America, also available from St. Martin’s Press.

Sgt. Randy Sutton

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Sgt. Randy Sutton

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Available Formats and Book Details

A Cop's Life
True Stories from the Heart Behind the Badge
Sgt. Randy Sutton

Mass Market Paperbound

Mass Market Paperbound
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Paperbacks
August 2006
Mass Market Paperbound
ISBN: 9780312940010
ISBN10: 0312940017
4 3/16 x 6 3/4 inches, 288 pages
$7.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
April 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429909334
ISBN10: 1429909331
224 pages
$7.99
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