David Le Courageux

David Le Courageux

David Le Courageux is the pen name for the writing team of Dominic Smith and Stephen Bentley. The only real name out of those three is Stephen Bentley. Just like Mr and Mrs Smith, he too is a former undercover police officer.

Mr and Mrs Smith were the stars of CrimeCon 2021 held in London where they made a personal appearance on a blacked-out stage to preserve their anonymity. CrimeCon is billed as the world’s largest true crime event and is now held annually in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Dominic and Samantha were billed as the Real Mr and Mrs Smith – Undercover Legends.

Following that event, the media showed a lot of interest in the Mr and Mrs Smith stories. The inquiries came from print and online publications and the film and TV industry. Talks are ongoing about the Mr and Mrs Smith franchise.

Stephen Bentley was also a barrister in London practising criminal law for fourteen years. Since retirement, he has written fifteen books including his best-selling Operation Julie memoir, originally independently published but the UK & Commonwealth rights have now been acquired by Penguin Random House UK. An 8-part TV series based on that book is in development.

Stephen also co-wrote Operation George: A Gripping True Crime Story of an Audacious Undercover Sting with Mark Dickens, a pseudonym and another former undercover police officer.

His crime fiction includes the Steve Regan Undercover Cop Thrillers and the Detective Matt Deal Thrillers. He is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association, the Society of Authors, and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

You may download a free eBook ‘Meet Mr and Mrs Smith’ here.

Undercover Legends: The Real Mr and Mrs Smith is available to order at these retail stores.


BBC Radio 4 Life Changing Series

BBC Radio 4 Life Changing Series

I was delighted to be offered the opportunity of being a guest on the BBC Radio 4 Life Changing show interviewed by Jane Garvey.

It was first aired on May 18 2022 at 9:00 AM UK time then repeated the following evening. But fear not, if you wish to listen it’s avaialble for over one year on the BBC website or you can download it if you prefer.

In the interview I am asked about my Operation Julie undercover experiences and the impact they had on my life. I hope you enjoy the listen.

The show certainly helped my Operation Julie book hit the Amazon UK #1 Bestseller list after an absence of a few years.


Media Kit and #NetGalley – #OperationGeorge

Media Kit and #NetGalley – #OperationGeorge

Operation George is now getting into its pre-release marketing stride. 

A media kit is now available and can be downloaded here.  It is also available on NetGalley and I am inviting professional reviewers to request a digital galley of the book

There has been an amazing amount of interest shown in the book by film production companies and I am in the process of discussing the project with them. 

There may even be a spin-off from this book but I must keep that under wraps for the time being. 

You can find more details about the book and pre-order information here at Books2Read

Join my newsletter to keep updated about the progress of Operation George. You will find a signup link in the sidebar. 


Operation George Excerpts #1

Operation George Excerpts #1

What you are about to see and hear is a selected reading from some of the early chapters of ‘Operation George.’ We, Mark Dickens and I, hope you enjoy it.

The book is in a full developmental edit stage right now and a cover designer briefed to produce the book cover. We anticipate the book launch to take place in early 2022 and will become available for purchase as an eBook, paperback, hardcover, and an audiobook.

Early beta readers have spoken highly about the book and none more so than Graham Bartlett, a former police officer and now a writer. He wrote:

Operation George is brilliant! It’s a unique insight into the undercover world, the ingenious tactics, the outwardly serene UCOs and the fastidious adherence to rules and training are nothing like I’ve ever read before.

Devoting the majority of the second half of the book to the trial was inspired. It’s all very well for readers to have that amazing peek into the undercover world (and the way the team created a totally illusionary one for Fulton at huge potential risk to themselves given his background and connections) but to show how the evidence obtained stands or falls in court does the whole tactic justice.’

–          Graham Bartlett, former UK senior police officer and co-author with international best seller, Peter James, of a Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling non-fiction book, Death Comes Knocking – Policing Roy Grace’s Brighton.

More excerpts will be released over the coming weeks and if you want to make sure you miss nothing about Operation George sign up for my newsletter. 

Hop on over to the Operation George page on my website to find out more information. 

If you like the video, check out how you can also make promotional videos like this with just a few mouse clicks. I like the software so much I became an affiliate.

Find out more!

Mobocracy Cover Reveal

Mobocracy Cover Reveal

Mobocracy cover reveal and it will be Book 3 in the Detective Matt Deal Thriller series following on from Mercy and Mayhem. All three books are set in the not too distant future.

mobocracy cover reveal

Yes. all the Ms in this series of murder and mayhem. Why Mobocracy? It was suggested by one of my readers, a fan who lives in Canada. In fact, it was one of hundreds after I asked for suggestions for a title of the next book in series. The only proviso was that it had to be one word and begin with the letter M.

The series is set in the near future. Mobocracy means mob rule, the opposite of democracy. Anarchy and mob rule are prevalent with law and order breaking down in the United States. Even Washington D.C. is under siege from lawless groups of rioters.

In Florida, Matt Deal has now been appointed the chief of detectives reporting to newly elected Sheriff Fretwell, his old friend.

A British stranger starts making inquiries about Deal. Who is he? Is he an additional threat to Deal and his family?

Meanwhile Special Agent Steele recruits a disgraced cop to infiltrate the outlaw biker gang hired to kill Deal.

What will Deal do? Fight or flee?

Preorder details will be announced later this year. If you would like to see the full cover, click on the toggle button below.



How the Japanese Concept of Ikigai Works for Me

How the Japanese Concept of Ikigai Works for Me

My wife recently posted about Ikigai on Facebook in these terms:

(The Japanese art to a long and happy life – enjoy every nanoseconds of the rest of your life)
1. STAY ACTIVE; DON’T RETIRE. Those who give up the things they love doing and do well lose their purpose in life. That’s why it’s so important to keep doing things of value, making progress, bringing beauty or utility to others, helping out, and shaping the world around you, even after your “official” professional activity has ended.
2. TAKE IT SLOW. Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to quality of life. As the old saying goes, “Walk slowly and you’ll go far.” When we leave urgency behind, life and time take on new meaning.
3. DON’T FILL YOUR STOMACH. Less is more when it comes to eating for long life, too. According to the 80 percent rule, in order to stay healthier longer, we should eat a little less than our hunger demands instead of stuffing ourselves.
4. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD FRIENDS. Friends are the best medicine, there for confiding worries over a good chat, sharing stories that brighten your day, getting advice, having fun, dreaming . . . in other words, living.
5. GET IN SHAPE FOR YOUR NEXT BIRTHDAY. Water moves; it is at its best when it flows fresh and does not stagnate. The body you move through life in needs a bit of daily maintenance to keep it running for a long time. Plus, exercise releases hormones that make us feel happy.
6. SMILE. A cheerful attitude is not only relaxing – it also helps make friends. It’s good to recognize the things that aren’t so great, but we should never forget what a privilege it is to be in the here and now in a world so full of possibilities.
7. RECONNECT WITH NATURE. Though most people live in cities these days, human beings are made to be part of the natural world. We should return to it often to recharge our batteries.
8. GIVE THANKS. To your ancestors, to nature, which provides you with the air you breath and the food you eat, to your friends and family, to everything that brightens your days and makes you feel lucky to be alive. Spend a moment every day giving thanks, and you’ll watch your stockpile of happiness grow.
9. LIVE IN THE MOMENT. Stop regretting the past and fearing the future. Today is all you have. Make the most out of it. Make it worth remembering.
10. FOLLOW YOUR IKIGAI. There is a passion inside you, a unique talent that gives meaning to your days and drives you to share the best of yourself until the very end. If you don’t know what your ikigai is yet, your mission is to discover it.

Those rules, or at least some, have resonance for me and here’s why.

#1 Having retired from my official line of work when I was a younger man, I stay active by writing books and I believe those books bring enjoyment to many readers he world over.

#2 I have always advocated taking it easy. It’s my nature though as an Aries, I can be impatient sometimes.

#3 Took me a long time to discover the truth of this for myself.

#4 My friends are in the main, my wife, her boys and her family.

#5 I’m on some new medications to reduce my blood pressure. Does that count?

#6 Easy!

#7 Never lost touch with nature. I marvel each day at wildlife and sunsets.

#8 Yes, I truly thank them all for without them, I would not exist.

#9 This could be my mantra. I have experienced many setbacks in my life but I’m still standing and joyously happy.

#10 My passion is my writing. I do consider (modestly) it is my unique talent.

What do you say?

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