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4.2 out of 5 stars
Confessions of an Undercover Cop (The Confessions Series)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The police have had a lot of criticism recently, I think it's fair to say that a great deal of trust has been lost due to the actions taken by senior police officers that have been highlighted in the media over the past year or so. We have to remember that the majority of serving police officers are there because they want to protect the public, because they want to see justice done. They are everyday people, just like the rest of us - doing a job that is often very unpleasant, often criticised and often played down.

I really enjoyed this book. Ash Cameron tells of her time in the police force with humour and affection. We join her as a new recruit in the 70s and follow her as she goes undercover, and later when she works with the People Protection Unit.

The book is made of up short chapters, each describing an incident that Ash had to deal with. Some of these are laugh-out-loud funny, some of them are desperately sad and a few of them are shocking. Ash Cameron writes really well. The reader feels as though they have travelled alongside her, but without the scrapes and bruises!

Ash Cameron saw and did a lot during her career with the police. She was physically attacked and spat at, she saw and heard things most of us could never imagine having to deal with once, let alone on a daily basis. Despite this, her passion for the job, and her belief in the system shines though.

One of the beauties of this book is that it is told in short, snappy bursts. Each chapter is a story in itself, and the book can be either read straight through, or dipped into every now and again.

Confessions of an Undercover Cop is a book that will appeal to many, and one that I'd recommend - a proper behind-the-scenes look at life in the force.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2013
I found this entertaining and with each chapter a vignette it was very easy to dip in and out of. There is a good mix of humour and discovery and the author manages to infer the painful situations some of the victims were in with pathos and without dramatising their situation. That shows an incredible respect for the individuals. The writing is friendly and it's almost like a selection of conversations with a friend over a glass of wine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 2013
I stayed up very late last night reading this memoir of one woman's career in the police force, starting in the late 70s. And yes, she does make a joke about Life on Mars.

Told with characteristic humour and the odd touch of self deprecation, there are moments of high comedy but also there is some tragedy. We follow Ash from her time at Hendon and through several different postings - seeing her deal with traffic and pickpockets, prostitution and violence. The most harrowing stories are from her time in child protection.

The memoir has the unmistakable ring of truth. It's a useful reminder too, of what we ask of people like Ash. They see the worst of human behaviour day in, and day out. Sometimes they go through all that only to see the guilty walk away. Ash touches on the politics, and the sexism, from time to time, with a very light hand. She mentions the bad apples, and issues like Hillsborough - but gently reminds us that the majority of police, the majority of the time, deal with our dirty work on a daily basis. And through it all, no matter what she was faced with - spat at, insulted, even held at gunpoint - her empathy and concern for others survived intact. That, for me, is her ultimate achievement and it was worth reading just to have my faith in humanity restored.

My own confession - I know Ash a little via Facebook, and I've been looking forward to reading this memoir for a good while. It lived up to my expectations. A very good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2013
I very much enjoyed this book which I read straight through, start to finish. The chapters are short which tends to make you think, oh go on, just one more before I turn out the light. Some of the tales are funny, some wry, some poignant, others shocking, still others simply very sad. The prose is beautifully simple and no-nonsense which really suits the subject matter. The confessions don't read like police thriller novels - that's because they're tales from real life. I felt I got a real insight into the life of a plain clothes London cop, and was left with huge respect for a woman who clearly cared very much about her job and the well-being of the people she policed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2014
This is not a crime thriller story, this is a real account and in that sense it can get rather emotional when you keep realising you are very much reading about real people and real lives. It’s an autobiography over 15 years of dealing with cases from robberies, fraud, street crime, sex workers and even organised swinging parties. then it really gets gritty as she moved departments into the Child protection and vulnerable persons unit, dealing with people a lot of crime writers wont write about.
In these instances she gives them the time they need, but she doesn’t indulge too much and doesn’t detail what she doesn’t have to. Years of dealing with delicate, vulnerable witnesses and victims has clearly provided her with the ability to get to the point she needs to without going over the top or pushing too much into the horrid details of the crime.
Armed with her years of experience, and showing she is a talented writer, I think we can expect great works from Ash Cameron
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2014
I was lucky enough to win a signed copy in a competition - and what an absolute treat! The cover is slightly at odds with the story...it's quite light-hearted...whereas actually this is a read that is deadly serious and incredibly gritty. It is absolutely perfect for dipping in and out of if, like me, your reading time is scarce and you don't want to lose 'the plot'. Ash Cameron tells her story of joining the police as a naïve young woman and takes the reader through the tough job of policing and, eventually, going undercover. I defy anybody to whinge about their own day at work after reading this book. From being in the heart of jeering crowds and terrified police horses, to dead vagrants, from drug addicts to notorious villains and hanging around for hours on end to orchestrate the perfect high octane arrest, at times this reads like a movie. Except it's real life. Hats off to Ash Cameron - and all the other brilliant men and women who go to work and literally risk their lives every single day.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2013
This is a fascinating, anecdotal account of the life of a policewoman from when she was expected to "make the tea for the lads" until more recent, enlightened times. The stories are well told, usually very short (one or two pages), and not always favourable to the author.

If ever they decide to make a new series of Life on Mars, they should dip into this book for some, at times very amusing, material.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2013
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Love that the chapters are short so you can dip in and out of the book as you like, although I found it very hard to put down and kept thinking 'just one more'. An interesting look at what police go through and what they deal with. I have a lot of respect for Ash and how she managed being in a job that can be very tiring, challenging and in many instances (child protection) depressing, but Ash has a very practical and non-judgemental approach to the situations and people that she dealt with.
A really enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2014
I find these types of books very enjoyable. Ash Cameron really does say it how it is, she writes in a fluid manner that means you can read the book easily. I really enjoyed the section when she worked for the undercover team, she explains perfectly how she and her fellow officers catch the criminals, and how they end up in court. I would highly recommend this book to anybody who like me loves the professional bio's.

Have fun reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2013
I love reading a good book. Sometimes a book is so good that it's really hard to put down.
Confessions of an Undercover Cop was definitely one of those books. Utterly brilliantly written and each new page revealing laughs, fun, surprise and sometimes sadness. Ash shares lots of details without being over dramatic or exploiting the victims.
This is definitely essential reading. A five star read!
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