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on 10 September 2015
I absolutely LOVED this book. As a police procedural, it makes you wonder which parts of it are true, and which (if any) are elaborated. Whatever the answer, it was enthralling from page one until the very end. This is book 1 of a three-parter, and although I read them in the wrong order (this one second), it didn't detract from understanding the characters and enjoying the stories.
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on 18 December 2013
I thought this was a very entertaining and well written account of a young policemans lot it felt like it was very real.I was a special constable in the West Midlands at about the same time this book was set, and it made me chuckle, and brought back some memories I had forgotten.It certainly was a different time back then you forget how different some times,good book I enjoyed it.
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on 25 August 2014
As with most Police service films, plays or novels, a certain amount of artistic license is evident in this book but nonetheless a great read and true insight into the policing of the day.
Many memories of my street duties course rekindled.
I echo the author's sentiment in remembering the fallen and have personal connections with 5 of them. RIP.
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Wasn't sure what to expect with this book but it is certainly worth reading, you soon get drawn into all the characters with plenty of laughing and crying moments. I will certainly be reading the next two books, From Black to Blue and From Blue to Brown.
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on 1 October 2013
This was a really fascinating book and I found it to be a good read. About the life of a policeman from his first day upwards and the trials and tribulations he has to go through. I would recommend this book.
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on 20 March 2013
Great page turner from a time when we were simultaneously more and less innocent. The characters develop in a way that makes you want to take the journey with them, not just to the end of this book but also into the next two in the trilogy.

Written in a way that makes the pages just flow and the hours disappear. Very enjoyable stories and a fantastic debut! Could do for policemen what James Heriot did for vets and Call the Midwife has done for nurses.
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on 24 August 2013
I take my hat off to Jonathan , he has done a great job in writing a book that sums up not just Stoke Newington but the Metropolitan Police in general in the early 80’. He has managed to hit the very essence of being a young green-behind-the-ears probationer (sprog) in the early 80’s. The moral dilemma's , the ‘noble cause’ corruption and the way the public would try to have you over at every turn are very well conveyed. The want/need to be accepted and respected by your peers and the frequent knock-backs from them are equally well portrayed. The incidents are very real and well described, they happened to so many of us at the time. Parts of it will have you sitting in the corner with tears of laughter flowing freely . In short well done ! I look forward to reading the next instalment.
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on 17 August 2013
I stayed with this book until 2am unable to put it down until I had reached the cross roads of a remarkable journey. If you want creative English in all its flowery inspiration then this isn't the book for you. If you want an experience that excites your senses with its honesty then read this and take the roller coaster with PC Chris Pritchard AKA " Nostrils" from the lonely naïve new bobby on the beat, puppy walked through the hidden curriculum of 80s policing, desperately looking to " belong" we see him grow and watch as he loses his innocence to the sometimes brutal reality that morals and standards can not survive as rigid structures, they are forced to bend like palm trees in a hurricane.Forced to compromise by "Drawing a line in the sand" beneath personal integrity.
I relate both on a professional and personal level and as such I laughed out loud,smiled inside and shed tears of profound sadness. The author could never have written this "fiction" with out a heart of experience to create it from. Thank you Jonathan. I look forward to reading the other two with anticipation.
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on 23 March 2013
As other reviews note, this book is fast-paced and well written. I worked as a PC in the area at the time, and can also vouch for the stories as being frighteningly true to life. Fans of 'police procedurals' can be assured that both the mundane routine of policing and the range of bizarre incidents are spot-on for Stoke Newington in the 1980s.

There is also a moral dimension to this book, which runs throughout the plotline. The protagonist, PC Chris Pritchard, has to work out his personal 'line in the sand' in respect of corruption, brutality and evidence. Easy to say, much harder to stick to. Any reader who is sure they would never have done anything wrong at all is hopefully right, but all the evidence is that they would be unlikely to have stayed in the police for many months. The difficulty and stress of working out and sticking to the 'line in the sand' may be this book's most accurate reflection of policing in the 1980s.
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on 4 April 2013
A great read - enjoyable, pacey and very readable. With such realistic characters and a great storyline, it was a difficult to put the book down It also provided a real insight into policing in the early 80s, something of which I have no knowledge or experience. I would thoroughly recommend the book and have already downloaded the next one in the trilogy.
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