Confessions of an Undercover Cop
Ash Cameron (Harper Collins UK, Trade Paperback) 225 pages with glossary £7.99 cover price
There are easier career choices...
This is the sixth in a series of Confessions books published in the UK. If your sordid little mind instantly thinks of confessions as a series of sordid adventures involving naughty spanking...well now that I think of it you might be right. I can't say as I've read the others in the series. However, this particular edition is the memoir of Ash Cameron, who joined the constabulary when she was 19 and managed to hang in there for 20 years before finally facing retirement after several physical injuries. Absolutely no sex involved...except where of course, there is.
Not that I have read a lot of first-person accounts of policing – I recall a fondness for Joseph Wambaugh, but that was a long time ago – however this truly seems a completely accurate account of what it is like being a woman in the mucho macho, yet generally supportive world of being a policeman. And although Cameron is not salacious in detail, she does lay it on the line. For instance, if you are working undercover trying to discover purse snatchers or fondlers in a crowd...you are going to be victimized. Plus, you will have bones and teeth broken, clothing and muscles both torn. People will also scream at you and in a mob situation they hope you will die. How's that for a career choice?
Not that this is all gloom and screams. Cameron has a genuine fondness for many of the petty criminals she dealt with, rather in the same manner as the old Barney Miller and Night Court sitcoms did. And some of her anecdotes are hilarious, such as finding herself rather stuck on an eight-foot garden wall; or being charmed by Roger Moore while guarding a movie shoot.
Great fun and a fine Christmas present for anyone in policing or thinking of signing on. Be seeing you.