Top critical review
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on 14 May 2013
This is the fourth book of "real life copper" memoirs I have bought and it is very different from the others, in that it largely covers the areas where police fall short of the theoretical ideal.
Some of these nobody will approve of - lazy time-servers, seriously ill-conceived operations, policemen drunk on duty or behind the wheel.
Some will evoke differing reactions depending on your point of view. He mentions that the courts have made it perfectly plain that they consider injuries to policemen to be almost beneath notice, and says that the police, knowing this, often inflict the only punishment the criminal will ever get at the time of arrest. Likewise the wife-beater, who for various reasons seldom gets any formal punishment, often gets summary justice.
The big problem I have is in knowing how much of this to believe, so much so that I took some time checking the author out. Fairly clearly he is a real ex-policeman, but I still wonder about these memoirs. One particularly off-putting element is that every chapter is top and tailed with memories of early childhood, which bear no relation to the rest of the book and strongly suggest the creative writing class. How much of the rest of the work is "creative"? If any of this is fiction, how confident can we be that there is at least some rough justice out there?
I agree with some other reviewers that it is too long. The other police books I read left one wanting more, but this could do with trimming by 1/4 to 1/3, and that after complete removal of the childhood parts.
It has been very difficult to do this review because I'm conscious of having been harsher than I'd like to be. I did enjoy reading the book, it was well worth the price, and I'd recommend others to take a look. There were highly interesting observations from a self-awareness/improvement guru and a self-made millionaire. I just can't get away from the significant niggles, though.