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Riordan, Sergeant. Sergeant Riordan was created by “Victor Maxwell” (Jack Kelly (I)) and appeared in eighty-one stories and serials in Flynn’s Weekly, Flynn’s Weekly Detective Fiction, and Detective Fiction Weekly from 1925 through 1939, beginning with “The Plainly Marked Track” (Flynn’s, Aug. 8, 1925).

Sergeant Riordan is a policeman, and a good one. He is a hard man, but fair, and is not swayed by sentiment or deception. He knows the law and is very good at catching and holding on to those who break the law. Riordan is no square-jawed stereotype--he is a shrewd, competent policeman who brooks no insult nor allows a criminal to go free. Riordan’s superior is Captain Brady, a very good policeman who runs a tight precinct station and who, when all else fails, can be called in to clean up a case that puzzles the rest of the men.

Riordan’s coworker is Officer Halloran, a long-time policeman, perhaps in his sixties, who is slow, ugly, and big and whose fat covers layers of rock-hard muscle. Halloran is very good in a fight, and his investigations, while not brilliant or imaginative, are plodding and meticulously thorough. Unlike many of the policemen in the pulps and mystery fiction of the time, Riordan et al are actually good at what they do; the bumblers in the Sgt. Riordan stories are the amateur detectives, who make a mess of things and force the cops to clean up after them.

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