i've been avoiding the whole bill hodges section to avoid spoilers, end of watch finally came out in paperback, so i can finally finish. i loved it. the ending was definitely bittersweet.
as far as the other things brought up, i'm pretty sure red was irish in the book, if anything it was brought up in passing, but i do believe it was brought up. regarding roland, wasn't a major plot point about how detta responded to roland, a white guy? not that i think he needs to be white in the movies, there's plenty to focus on without that particular plot point, just remarking since there seems to be some confusion about it