2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A compelling memoir,
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This review is from: Confessions of an Undercover Cop (The Confessions Series) (Paperback)
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.