A Small Band of Men
Les Bird joined the Hong Kong Marine Police in 1976 during a period of rapid change in one of the British Empire's few remaining colonies, and witnessed the last years of the hard-working, hard-drinking colonial policemen handing out rough justice in the World of Suzie Wong. He led his men in combat with the growing organized crime in the years leading up to the handover of the colony back to China in 1997 and was one of a handful of senior officers instrumental in dealing with highly sensitive issues including a flood of refugees fleeing Vietnam and the increase in the smuggling of guns, drugs, people and luxury goods either to or from Communist China. Filled with gripping stories spanning 20 years, A Small Band of Men follows Bird and his cohorts including his mentor, “Diamond” Don Bishop, an eccentric officer whose volatile temper, larger-than-life personality and overbearing presence was a major influence in Bird's career. These tales provide a fascinating insight into the intersection of cultures that is Hong Kong. Supported by his second-in-command, Joe Poon, Bird gained the trust of his band of men to such an extent that they were willing to follow him into danger, even at the risk of their own lives.
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