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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The second best SO19 book, 31 Oct. 2004
This review is from: The Good Guys Wear Black: The True-life Heroes of Britain's Armed Police (Hardcover)
The first best SO19 book, is of course The Glory Boys, Steve Collins' sequel to this book, which actually carries straight on after the last chapter of this one.
Ironically, was it not for a friends showing me The Glory Boys, I'd have never got an interest in this book, and had my common belief that the SAS was the premier hostage rescue force in London squashed.
This book is perfect, it's hard to find a fault in it. It starts off with a brief history of the author's childhood and then what led him to become a police officer. There are a few short tales from his time as a police officer and as armed officer protecting a Duke and Dutchess, one of the more humorous chapters.
What comes next, is of course plenty of chapters filled with excitement and adventure of SO19 operations. Unlike other books in this genre, this book doesn't require violence to keep the reader enthralled, but rather just the excellent writing stile of Collins. That writing style is simply, 'Tell it as it is'. He doesn't over exaggerate, he just keeps things on the same level they were when they happened.
It's hard to explain how, but you can just tell he's not making this stuff up. It, to this day, is still one of the best and most enjoyable books I've read, it really is a treat. The great photographs inside the book are excellent, from just a few photos of SO19 teams (or the two cutest German Shepherds I've ever seen) to photos of weapons and equipment that SO19 used.
If you're interested in SO19 or armed police of any kind, this book is a perfect story to read and I'd advise it to anyone. You don't have to be a gun nut or hopeful armed policeman to like this book, the characters and stories are vibrant enough to make anyone enjoy it.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth behind the Metropolitan Police Force Firearms Unit, 11 Nov. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Good Guys Wear Black: The True-life Heroes of Britain's Armed Police (Hardcover)
I approached this book skeptically at first - thinking it would be another Andy McNab or Chris Ryan style SAS "We're better than everyone so F**k the lot of ya!"book - however it was one of the best non-fiction books about Policing that I've ever read - and I've read a lot. Ex-SO19 Sergeant Steve Collins gives more information about the arming, training, selection and day to day life trials of Specialist Firearms Officers in SO19 - Britains Premier Firearms Unit. Both this, and the follow up (The Glory Boys) are interesting reads for those interested in the workings of the Armed Police on our streets - without being overly "gung-ho".
Reading this book was a significant factor in influencing me to begin the largest ever study into the Personality Traits of Firearms Officers in the UK - my work will be published next year on completion of my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Criminology at the University of Teesside; Middlesbrough; England.
An exciting, informative and fast-moving read. Definately un-put-downable. I highly recommend this.
Neil J. Walsh
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