The Real Prime Suspect
By Jackie Malton
I am excited to reveal my review on the blog tour for The Real Prime Suspect. This is one for those who like the successful TV drama, Prime Suspect and other crime drama series and/or about policing. Check out the blurb and my review below, then a bit more about Jackie Malton.
Jackie Malton was a no-nonsense girl from Leicestershire who joined the police force in the 1970s when women were kept apart from the men. Feisty and determined, Jackie worked in CID and the famous flying squad before rising to become one of only three female detective chief inspectors in the Metropolitan Police. In The Real Prime Suspect, Malton describes the struggles she faced as a gay woman in the Metropolitan Police, where sexism and homophobia were rife.
Jackie dealt with rapists, wife beaters, murderers, blackmailers and armed robbers but it was tackling the corruption in her own station that proved the most challenging. Ostracised and harassed by fellow officers furious that she reported the illegality of some colleagues, Malton used alcohol to curb her anxiety.
A chance meeting with writer Lynda La Plante five years later changed the course of her life. Together they worked on shaping Jane Tennison, one of TV’s most famous police characters, in the ground-breaking series Prime Suspect. Not long after, Malton recovered from alcoholism and now works as an AA volunteer in prison and as a TV consultant.
Jackie has spent her life working in crime. Now she’s ready to share her story.
The Real Prime Suspect gives great insight into policing and what it was like to be a female police officer moving up the ranks, but being one of the very few who did, dealing with changing times and legislation as well as a male dominated work force. She was also a member of The Flying Squad.
Jackie Malton tells her story with candour and dignity as certain things are recognised and shown how times move forwards, things learnt, police doing their best and working hard under tough conditions. It demonstrates how far policing has come and what they have to deal with day to day in human behaviour. It is fascinating how Malton talks of operations she was on, some heartbreaking, some with the hard end of the realities of the job. All are fascinating and told with authenticity in what is a well written memoir with so many points covered.
To read her story is truly fascinating and eye-opener as she takes readers through the decades with much integrity. There’s a feeling of not just determination to succeed, it goes further than that, a real bravery (not a word I ever use lightly), to make a real difference. The book is very open about tough times regarding her health, a test she fails. She shows, she is as human as the rest of us, even with the extraordinary opportunities that opened up new worlds for her.
Readers will be able to see how and why she is such a successful and reliable police consultant on many favourite TV series, from Cracker to Prime Suspect to Life On Mars, with a lifetime’s knowledge and experience to impart to help the script writers reach a script idea that has plausibility about it.