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Blue A Memoir - Keeping the Peace and Falling to Pieces by John Sutherland
  

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April 2018 Book of the Month

A searingly honest memoir of the uplifting highs and crushing lows of a life spent policing on the front line.

A Sunday Times top-five bestseller 'This is a remarkable book . . . profound and deeply moving . . . It has as much to tell us about mental illness as it does about policing' Alastair Stewart

A candid, objective, cooly passionate, and often unsettling account of policing from a police officer. John Sutherland joined the Met in 1992 aged 22, we see snapshots of his life as an officer, as he progresses up the career ladder, as he deals with all the horrors and glory a life in blue has to offer. From the very first page my attention was sucked in whole, I come from a family of blue, married blue, and spent 20 years as a member of police support staff. Even then, I was on the edge of understanding, I didn't ever have to run towards danger, tell someone a loved one had died, sit with death, experience the bitter lows, the jubilant highs of being a police officer, yet John Sutherland takes you there. As we read we step in and out of a series of events that have all added up to create this man, it isn’t a glittery or gory descriptive feast, but it doesn't have to be, he simply and clearly gives you a connection, and an understanding that under that uniform is flesh and blood and feelings. One thing is abundantly clear, this man loves his job, he feels the continued effort is worth it, and yet it very nearly broke him. It is truly captivating, whether you nod, smile wryly, and wish he could have been your boss, or feel the shock and admiration as you learn what our police are exposed to day after day. ‘Blue A Memoir’ is a worthwhile and fascinating read, I really do recommend it with my heart and soul.

John has written an epilogue to his story, which has been included in the paperback of ‘Blue A Memoir’. He speaks with his normal good sense, and he has the remarkable ability to put into words the thoughts and feelings so many officers struggle to properly articulate. He speaks from the heart, and his words made me cry. I wish him every success in his future, and whatever path he decides to explore, I’m quite sure to the many who know him, follow him on twitter, and read his blog, he will forever remain a true inspiration. ~ Liz Robinson

Synopsis

Blue A Memoir - Keeping the Peace and Falling to Pieces by John Sutherland

John Sutherland joined the Met in 1992, having dreamed of being a police officer since his teens. Rising quickly through the ranks, he experienced all that is extraordinary about a life in blue: saving lives, finding the lost, comforting the broken and helping to take dangerous people off the streets. But for every case with a happy ending, there were others that ended in desperate sadness, and in 2013 John suffered a major breakdown. Blue is his memoir of crime and calamity, of adventure and achievement, of friendship and failure, of serious illness and slow recovery. With searing honesty, it offers an immensely moving and personal insight into what it is to be a police officer in Britain today.

Reviews

'A gripping book . . . moving and really powerful . . . I highly recommend it' - Jumoke Fashola, BBC London

'It is rare for an officer to reveal such deep, personal experiences about the effect policing has had on his life as does John Sutherland. His memoir will expand people's understanding of what it means to be a police officer in Britain today, revealing the truth about the toll that a career in policing can have on those tasked with the responsibility of tackling crime. This is a brave and compelling account of policing from a very senior officer in the most renowned police force in the world' - Colin Taylor, author of Life of a Scilly Sergeant 'Brave and very honest Bear Grylls

'A superb book by a superb police officer' - Charles Cumming

'John Sutherland lays out the human cost of working as a police officer in simple, devastating terms' - Jack Sommers

'A fascinating, powerful and beautifully written insight into the life of a police officer' - Dan Walker, journalist and broadcaster

'Admirably honest and movingly human . . . Sutherland asks us to look behind the faceless blue and see the individual people - human and humane . . . the everyday heroes and heroines who police our streets' - P.F. King, The Spectator

'Courageous and moving' Tom Harper, Sunday Times

'Blue is a remarkable, revealing and inspiring insight into the worlds of the police and the policed. The stories told are by turns heart-warming and saddening, moving and maddening - it is an account of the very best and the very worst of our society. It is a book which should be required reading for all who aspire to public office, in any sector and at every level' - John Nichol, bestselling author of
'A remarkable, honest account of twenty years in policing Tornado Down' - Sophy Ridge, journalist and broadcaster

'The effect of this honesty is to leave us both more appreciative of police officers and more concerned for their well-being, as well as encouraged that such a compassionate man was promoted so vertiginously. He describes police work as fulfilling, humbling, inspiring, daunting, shattering, rewarding and soul-stirring which is also a fair description of his book' - Josh Raymond, Times Literary Supplement

'An honest look at the vulnerability that comes with bravery' - the I

'This is a remarkable book: a diary which became a magnum opus on belief and success, on depression and despair. It is well written and intellectually demanding, profound and deeply moving. In places, it is funny; everywhere, it is thoughtful. It has as much to tell us about mental illness as it does about policing. And there is much love in it: for friends, for family, for life' - Alastair Stewart

'I read Blue more or less in one sitting. I thought it was wonderful - very powerful, deeply moving and utterly honest' - Henry Marsh, bestselling author of Do No Harm and Admissions

'A stark account of a talented police officer's breakdown . . . This is a startlingly honest book and the final two chapters are heartbreaking' - Richard Morrison, The Times


About the Author

John Sutherland

John Sutherland is a father of three, who lives with his wife and children in south London. For the best part of twenty-five years, he has served as a Metropolitan Police Officer. He won the Baton of Honour as the outstanding recruit in his training school intake and rose through the ranks to become a highly respected senior officer. Over the course of his career, in which he has been awarded several commendations, he has worked in seven different London boroughs, in a variety of different ranks and roles, and he has also been posted to Scotland Yard on three separate occasions. His most recent operational job was as the Borough C ommander for Southwark. John can be found on Twitter and Wordpress as 'policecommander'. Blue is his first book.

Author photo © Zac Crawley

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Book Info

Publication date

19th April 2018

Author

John Sutherland

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Publisher

Weidenfeld & Nicolson an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Categories

The Real World
Biography / Autobiography
Books of the Month

Memoirs
True crime
True stories of heroism, endurance & survival

ISBN

9781474606066

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