There are so many books on the police written by outsiders, I was looking for one written by someone who had been there. I was particularly interested in one who had worked in London through the Thatcher years and this didn't disappoint. 1983 was the year of 'Woodentop', the drama that became The Bill. Just like the brilliant Woodentop, which is referenced, we see the problems of a naive young constable being 'puppy walked'. I loved it and have started on the sequel, I hope the entire 30 years are covered, there's definitely a market for these quasi memoirs.
Both hilarious and revealing, this is no story of a heroic natural but someone thrown into the strange world of the inner city with all its rituals and mind games. It's also the story of a bygone era, seedy pubs like The Elephant's Head don't exist anymore, at least not in numbers, they've all been gentrified and gastrofied.
I don't want to give away the story but the highlight for me was the outrageous behavior of Dean, particularly his way of ordering kebabs and the casual method of approaching premises where an alarm is going off. The contemptuous treatment of the new probationer was very realistic, specifically tricks used to procure tea and the unrealistic expectations. I recommend this to anyone interested in the simpler era of the tunic, 'earthy' wit and the Rover SD1.