The Sweeney Novels

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Back in the 1970s, The Sweeney was one of Britain’s biggest TV shows – the tough, uncompromising cop show that was morally ambiguous, often had stories that didn’t end ┬ácosily and featured topless girls, brutal violence and rough language. It was a Dirty Harry for Britain, and we’ll probably never see the like of it again.

The popularity of the show spawned several paperback novel tie-ins, initially written by the show creator Ian Kennedy Martin (the first initially being published with a misspelling of the show title on the cover) and then by ‘Joe Balham’, who seems to have been a house pseudonym, possibly used by Alan White and even Kennedy Martin himself. The novels appear to be original stories with the exception of Sweeney 2: The Blag, which was a novelisation of the second Sweeney movie.