Ever wondered what it was like to be a police officer before computers, political correctness and health and safety? How it felt patrolling a beat after dark? What went through a police officer’s mind when confronting an armed criminal or attending a fatal accident or messy post-mortem?
Now retired Thames Valley Police superintendent, turned crime novelist, David Hodges, lifts the lid on it all, putting together his own recollections of a job he knew so well during thirty years of intense change – from the swinging sixties to the radical mid-nineties.
In his candid description of life on and off the beat, he uses a mix of drama, pathos and humour to illustrate the journey of a naïve twenty year old, who had never even seen a dead body before, to a fifty year old cynic, who, by retirement, had seen a bit too much of everything.
Reflections In Blue is not about the exploits of an unsung hero or the world’s greatest detective. It is a revealing – and often hilarious – anecdotal account of a former secondary school boy’s trials and tribulations pursuing a career in a tough and highly political policing environment. Follow his exploits as he charts his own torturous progress up through the ranks, facing a multitude of challenges, including training in the use of firearms, handling the security of the prime minister’s residence at Chequers and dealing with a demanding news media during a lengthy term as the force’s press public relations officer.
It is a fascinating eye-opener of a book, which not only provides an insight into the operation of a major provincial police force at the time, but the aspirations and perceptions of one small cog in a very big complex wheel. It is almost impossible to put down.
A former police superintendent, who has turned his hand to crime writing on retirement, David Hodges now has three published crime thrillers to his credit: ‘Flashpoint’ and ‘Burnout’ (Pharaoh Press) and ‘Slice’ (Robert Hale Ltd) An autobiography on his police career, ‘Reflections In Blue,’ was published by Pharaoh Press in September 2011 and his fourth crime thriller, ‘Firetrap’, is to be published by Robert Hale in October 2011. He currently lives on the Somerset Levels in England with his wife, Elizabeth.