Review : Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong – Gina Kirkham

Mavis Upton is a woman on a mission.

Although I’m not convinced she’s entirely sure what that mission actually is.

With a seven year old daughter and a life punctuated by chaos & mishaps, Mavis stumbles across the bright idea to join the police force, albeit a little later than most new recruits. With her trusty Mum on standby to look after her little girl, she throws herself fully into learning the ways of the bobby, and once through the intensive training course she is assigned to a local police station, full of well defined characters, so realistic you can actually see them in your minds eye through every cop show you saw in the 1980s. Though you might not want to sit too close to a few of them!

Obviously life doesn’t get any less chaotic for Mavis once she becomes a fully fledged police officer. If anything, the opposite happens. She grows in confidence and we start to see more about the ‘real’ Mavis. She’s big hearted, feisty, funny and most of all, a bloody good copper. My Stepdad worked in Merseyside Police the whole of my childhood and a lot of the tales that Mavis recounts and the situations she gets herself into sound very familiar. Don’t dismiss this novel as all silliness & laughter though, there’s a big dollop of sensitivity, a very nice dig at a so-called ‘newspaper’ (very unpopular on Merseyside), and some real heartwrenching elements to this book.

This is a lovely book and a great debut – it’s a fab holiday read as long as you don’t mind people staring at you when you’re snorting cocktails out of your nose with laughter – if you do, best stick to reading it on the plane 😉

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