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Book Review: Police, Crime and 999 by John Donoghue

Coincidentally, and just in time for my birthday (It was my 21st birthday, just in case you were wondering but were too polite to ask) my very own signed copy of ‘Police, Crime and 999’ by John Donoghue arrived in the post this week. This is the sort of thing that happens in my life now that I move in literary circles don’t you know.

The book is a very funny collection of anecdotes written by John, a serving policeman, who in his little car with blue lights on top, patrols a mystery town referred to only as ‘Sandford’. This pseudonym presumably protects the town’s true identity and the sudden and predictable plummet in property prices that would surely ensue should the town’s real name be revealed. Although I am certain that ‘Sandford’ isn’t a particularly crime ridden suburb or any different from most other little English towns in that respect, it just happens to be the one in John’s charge.

I could certainly relate to a fair number of the comical situations described and it may come as a surprise to some, but the police and ambulance service not only share the same phone number and  the care of many of the same clientele but also, we share the same deviant sense of humour.

However, that said, I don’t think you need to be a member of the emergency services to appreciate the wit. My sister Shona was privy to the draft, she loved it, and she’s never even been in the front or back of an ambulance or police car (well not willingly anyway) and we don’t talk about the incident with the fire brigade since she threatened us with a super injunction, I’ll say no more on the matter.

Even though I have been privileged enough to read the book in draft form already (hence the heartfelt ‘Thank you’ in the acknowledgements) I’m looking forward to giving it a second bash, just as soon as I can prise it from my husband’s grip that is. And I’m not even bitter that he stole one of my best soundbites (see page 205). Really, I’m not…

If you enjoy reading about the exploits of your wonderful British emergency services and fancy a good giggle I implore you to  go to and get 10% off your signed copy while the offer lasts. It’s not released on Amazon until August so right now it’s the only place you can get a copy of the book.


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