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About the book
  • Published: 2 July 2018
  • ISBN: 9780143772095
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $38.00
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Straight from the Pig's Mouth

The Life and Crimes of a Kiwi Detective




A warts-and-all, often laugh-out-loud funny memoir of policing in New Zealand.

‘This book takes you into the life of a New Zealand police detective. I tell it how it was and spare few details so that you too can see the world through one policeman’s eyes. The stories contained in this book range from the humorous, strange and bizarre to extreme violence and murders. This is the lot of a Kiwi policeman and was the life I lived for 31 years.’

From his fledgling days as a constable to being a detective sergeant on high-profile cases, retired Christchurch policeman Al Lester has many a story to tell as he reflects on a career on the wafer-thin blue line.

Al’s a man who took policing seriously, always doing his level best to keep criminals in check and turn chaos into order. He never lost sight, however, of how to see the lighter side of the job, enjoying a laugh when the occasion arose, and often at his own expense.

Welcome to the world of a Kiwi cop.

(No actual pigs were harmed in the making of this book.)

  • Pub date: 2 July 2018
  • ISBN: 9780143772095
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $38.00

About the Author

Al Lester

Al Lester was born in Nelson, the second youngest of four children. As a young man, he played rugby, golf, softball and basketball, all at representative level. He even clocked up 125 skydives before moving on to his adult life.

After eight years in banking, Al jumped ship and, in 1985, joined the New Zealand Police. At a solid 6'4", perhaps he was better suited to the latter role. He was drawn to the investigation side of policing and spent 28 years working in the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) as a detective and detective sergeant. Al handed in his handcuffs at age 55, while still in possession of his sense of humour and most of his marbles.

Al is also the author of nine books of hunting yarns and is still an avid hunter with a love of the mountains and a liking for a cold beer.

He lives in Christchurch.

Also by Al Lester

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Praise for Straight from the Pig's Mouth

“This book makes for bloody good, lighthearted reading ... Straight from the Pig's Mouth gives the reader a curious insight into just what it takes to be a good copper.”

Professional Skipper

“Full of stories, this is a book you will not be able to put down ... perfect for those who love highly readable non-fiction.”

Kapiti News

“From battered wives, to gang hard men, pyromaniacs to robbers and murderers, Al shares stories, some of which will raise a laugh, but many of which may raise the hairs on your neck.”

Diane McCarthy, Eastern Bay Life

“While [Lester] handles some pretty raw subjects with dexterity, his trademark humour is never far behind. ... Easy to read, engaging, insightful, and funny.”

Daryl Crimp, New Zealand Outdoor Hunting


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