Thursday, September 26, 2019
By Jodi Taylor
Published by Headline, 17 October 2019
I have been a huge fan of Jodi Taylor's glorious "The Chronicles Of St Mary's" almost from its inception, so what a delight to be able to read and review the very first book in the new Time Police series!
The Time Police. Feared, mistrusted, mocked, even hated. A necessary evil to maintain the timeline from the ravages of those who would make unauthorised jumps to change history for their own personal reasons or for political, cultural or religious reasons. Who in their right minds would join such an organisation?
Well, Jane, Luke and Matthew for a start, and all for very different personal reasons. They are regarded as misfits by their peers in the Time Police, but those in authority are watching them closely and with keen interest. The new recruits gradually start to gel as a team once they finish their basic training and start their "grunt work" before becoming fully fledged officers, but the arrival of a new officer to lead their team, who quickly charms Matthew, seduces Luke and sidelines the quiet and shy Jane, causes absolute mayhem and the three friends begin to drift apart.
I loved Jane from the very first line and laughed uproariously over Matthew's parents' reactions to his decision to join the Time Police. I was fully prepared to despise Luke the playboy but quickly grew to like him a great deal as the youngsters rampage up and down history, leaving mayhem in their wake. When they met up with St Mary's, I was on tenterhooks... but I won't spoil the story for anyone.
Jodi has a deft and sure touch with her historical depictions and is a keen observer of current social and political trends as we find when the trio go on their very first foray after an unauthorised time traveller who intends to get winning Lottery numbers. The methods used by Jane, Luke and Matthew are initially chaotic, often unconventional, bend rather a lot of rules, but are ultimately effective and the team are quick learners. They need to be, or their lives, let alone their careers, will reach an abrupt end as the Time Police is also being torn by factions with very different aims and agendas.
I never thought I would be sympathetic towards the Time Police as an organisation after so much of what happened in their interactions with St Mary's in previous books, but it is a tribute to Jodi's writing that this book is such fun and an utterly absorbing read with characters that I quickly grew to love. I am SO looking forward to seeing what happens next!
Thanks to the publisher for allowing me a free digital copy of the book via NetGalley in return for my honest opinion and review.
Friday, September 13, 2019
The Heat Of The Moment:
Life And Death Decision-Making From A Firefighter
By Sabrina Cohen-Hatton
Published by Doubleday, 2019
If you have ever wondered how someone becomes a firefighter, what motivates them, what inspires them, what scares them, what gives them nightmares, how they decide what they do during the course of their work and exactly *why* they make those decisions, you will enjoy this book.
If you wonder if joining the Fire Service is the career for you, you definitely need to read this book.....
Sabrina Cohen-Hatton's early life saw her homeless, desperately struggling to get by, find somewhere safe to live, to keep on with her education and selling The Big Issue to do so. She never gave up.
She joined the Fire Service, and worked her way up to become one of the most senior female firefighters in the UK, earning a PhD in Psychology as she did so, and revolutionising how her colleagues are encouraged, helped and trained to make the professional decisions which could cost them their own lives as well as the lives of those they are endeavouring to save.
This is a superb book, filled with stories of bravery, heroism, even occasional errors of judgement, but always described with honesty and compassion, looking at how training and decision-making can be improved both for the firefighters on the ground and those in management positions.
The tunnel still haunts my dreams.......