Neil Low

Neil Low


IAS Comparative US Studies ’03
Seattle Police Department

I was well into my police career when I enrolled at the UW Bothell campus, because it offered classes that emphasized writing, which would help in my vocation as a police commander, as well as in my advocation as a mystery novelist.  While in school, I developed a work reputation as a competent writer, which helped in my promotion. As a captain, I have commanded several sections, including: DV and Sexual Assault, Internal Affairs, Homicide and Robbery (CSI, Gangs, Federal Task Forces, etc).  Most recently, I was appointed as the first commander of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, which includes Race and Social Justice and Immigration issues.

In July, 2008, I released my first novel, “Thick as Thieves,” the number 3 bestseller in Trade Paperbacks at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop for 2008. Its sequel, “Sign of the Dragon,” is scheduled for release in August, and I am well on the way with the third in the series, “Unreasonable Persuasion,” anticipating a 2010 release. All three novels have been set in the pre-WWII Seattle, the corrupt and bawdy era when the detective’s powers of observation, investigative skills, and cleverness were all that was necessary to solve mysteries. The stories focus on the detective, not crime lab microscopes.

Because I was also raising a family, my education required a tremendous amount of sacrifice and diligence, but it is one of the achievements of which I am most proud.  I remember doubting I would ever graduate, but then I heard another student say, "I can spend my nights at UWB working on a degree or waste them eating chip and watching TV.  Either way, time pases, but if I spend them at UWB, I'll eventually earn my degree."  It took us both eight years, but we graduated together in June 2003. 


Adversity leads to personal growth Eric J. Helzer