Growing up in west-central Wisconsin on a steady diet of Joseph Wambaugh novels and episodes of Police Story, Neal never considered any career other than being a cop. In fact, his whole purpose in joining the Marines at nineteen was to improve his chances of landing a job in police work. After an eight year hitch in the Marines, Neal applied for a number of agencies and landed in Southern California where he is still on the job.
Neal has worked as a patrol cop, field training officer, member of SWAT, Hostage Negotiator, Narcotics Investigator, Gang Enforcement Specialist; and, Supervisor of a Homicide Unit. He has been named as Officer of the Year on two occasions during his career and he currently holds the rank of Detective Lieutenant. Neal holds a Bachelor’s Degree from California State University, San Marcos and he is a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Neal’s first novel, Benefit of the Doubt, was published by Forge Books in May, 2015, and went immediately to #8 on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list. The story of Ben Sawyer and Harlan Lee was called “a well written and action packed crime thriller” by Library Journal and Booklist compared it to Cape Fear, a classic tale of ruthless revenge. Readers around the country have called for more, setting the stage for the future Newberg Mystery Series.
Now comes the story of Detective Tia Suarez who jumped from the page in Benefit of the Doubt to take center stage in Neal’s new book, A Voice from the Field. The book is scheduled for release in February, 2016, and promises to draw a large audience.
The son of a Philosophy Professor, Neal was taught early on to question authority, a trait not always popular with his bosses, but one that he has put to use as an author. Neal creates street savvy police characters with an authentic blend of courage and guile, but he pulls no punches in the portrayal of cops who have no business wearing a badge or gun. In his books, Neal tackles the serious issues that face American policing, leaving the reader with an untainted insider’s view.
Neal is married and has four children. He and his family reside in San Diego County. They travel frequently throughout the country but feel especially welcome in Wisconsin, where Neal loves to write, as well as pursue his other great passions: beer, cheese and Packer football.