Bangor Policeman’s book is really good

Bangor police officer Timothy Cotton expressed skepticism that he could write a book, even though he’d been writing Facebook stories about his police department for years. So here’s the good news: Cotton has written a wonderful book, The Detective in the Dooryard published by Down East Books.

I assumed the book would be full of stories about criminals caught by Bangor police, but it’s a lot more than that. The first half of the book is about Cotton’s life in and out of the police department, without focusing on crimes and criminals. And one thing I liked right off is Cotton’s sense of humor. A lot of his stories had me laughing.

About half way through the book, Cotton started telling us stories about crimes and criminals, many of which were intoxicated. My favorite story was about a car pulling a cross country skier through Bangor, but before the police could stop them, they’d disappeared. Good for them!

Cotton had a unique way of dealing with criminals. He’d be very kind to them, and that kindness often led to confessions and apologies.

Cotton surprised me at the end of his book which features fictional short stories, some of which he says are based on real experiences. I really enjoyed his stories, and this became my favorite section of the book.

Cotton posted a story on Facebook about the time he stopped to help an elderly man who had a flat tire. Cotton had lots of problems changing the tire, and got help from two women who drove by. It’s a great story which Cotton shares with us. And when he posted the story on Facebook, more than one million people read it. I hope that convinced him that he’s a great writer!




George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.