Unabashedly frank, vulnerable, and heartfelt, this hard-edged memoir, written by a London Metropolitan Detective Chief Inspector (who also happens to be female, one of only three DCIs of her gender at the time) is a testament to resilience, compassion, and a lifelong passion to serve – and the cost (psychological, emotional, and personal) the pursuance of such a career must involve.
Jackie Marton (the real life DCI Jane Tennison character the BBC TV-series “Prime Suspect” is based on) has seen it all. Rising through the UK police ranks in the 70’s and 80’s, her narrative outlining the appalling and rampant misogyny permeating these times may be hard to to fathom, (for those who never experienced it), forty or fifty “more enlightened” years later.
As Jackie earns her stripes, on the surface doing everything right, and simultaneously handling increasingly serious crimes (armed robberies, IRA bomb threats, hostage negotiations, murders, rapes, and child abductions) – the cracks in her internal walls begin to widen under the mounting pressure, as police-work-generated PTSD, underpinned by pre-existing profound insecurities, shame and deep-rooted feelings of inadequacy, threatens both her mental health, and her sobriety.
As Jackie externally battles discrimination, sexism and ultimately, police corruption, her internal conflicts, (including her only-somewhat-acknowledged homosexuality), she learns to channel her sense of alienation into alcohol – creating a system of dependency and addiction that is years in the making, eventually becoming so deep-rooted Jackie fears it may be permanent.
Without giving the plot away (no spoilers here) Jackie’s journey to wholeness, its path and its outcome, is both fascinating and uplifting – a testament to one woman’s will, and her determination to find a way to leave behind a positive legacy in a world sorely in need of champions (and in particular, female ones).
This wonderful and engrossing story – a real-life heroes journey – is a welcome and much-needed reminder of the power of the human spirit to prevail, against sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds, that this reader, for one, will not quickly forget.
My stop today on the @RandomTTours blogtour for #TheRealPrimeSuspect
A great big thank you to the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.