With the benefit of experience: author Roger draws on his time leading Special Branch
December 15, 2012
December 15, 2012
Former QE School Captain Roger Pearce (OE 1961-69), who enjoyed a police career which saw him rise to become head of the Met’s Special Branch, is now a successful political thriller writer.
Roger, who writes based on his first-hand experience, signed a two-book deal with Coronet, an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton, and the first book, Agent of the State, has now been published in hardback.
Roger, of Underne House, was at the School when Tim Edwards was Headmaster and John Pearce (no relation) his Housemaster. After graduating with a BA Honours in Theology from St John’s College, Durham University in 1972, Roger married Margaret, a former pupil at Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School, whom he had met when both were Sixth-Formers. Roger had intended to become ordained as an Anglican priest, but instead joined Durham Constabulary in 1973 and transferred to the Metropolitan Police in 1975.
Within a year Roger had applied to join Special Branch at New Scotland Yard. He also began an external LLB Honours degree from London University by private study and in 1979 qualified as a barrister-at-law at the Middle Temple.
Formed in 1883, the Branch’s mission was to gather secret intelligence against terrorists and extremists. It conducted sensitive assignments here and abroad and was also responsible for the protection of the Cabinet, of visiting heads of state and of VIPs. Roger became the head of Special Branch in 1999 and also served as the Met’s Director of Intelligence, authorising surveillance and undercover operations against serious and organised crime. He held both posts until 2003. The Met’s Special Branch was merged with the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch (SO13) to form Counter Terrorism Command, or SO15, in 2006.
In his last months of service, Roger was approached by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to take up the newly formed post of Counter-Terrorism Adviser, where he worked with government and intelligence experts worldwide in the campaign against Al Qaeda. In 2005 he was hired by GE Capital in London as managing director of European security.
Roger and Margaret have just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. They have two sons, both former QE pupils: Andrew, a composer, and Matthew, an airline pilot. Their daughter, Laura, is a personal assistant.
Roger had been writing for several years and was delighted when a top London literary agent agreed to represent him and eventually brought him together with the team from Hodder. The sequel to Agent of the State, entitled The Extremist, is to be published in July 2013.