Book Review: The Real Prime Suspect by 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.

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this book for the blog tour organised by Anne at Random Things Tours with a request for an honest review.

When the email for the tour landed in my inbox, I knew straight away that I needed to read this book. I love memoirs, particularly from those in the public sector, and I’m a huge fan of crime and police procedurals. When you get a book which really excites you, you always hope it won’t let you down and The Real Prime Suspect certainly lived up to my expectations and more!

Jackie really is a formidable woman and I found her tales of her time in the Police in Leicestershire and the Met to be absolutely gripping and fascinating. I’m absolutely in awe of her dedication to the job and the wider community in which she served. It was also fascinating to witness her journey and struggles from a young recruit to DCI.

At 300 pages, this memoir packed a punch. It was gritty, emotionally charged but also informative – it struck the perfect balance in my opinion. I am unfortunately too young to remember Prime Suspect on TV, but I’m definitely going to see if I can watch it!

The memoir covers challenging themes, as you would expect from someone working in CID. Nonetheless, it was Jackie’s own story and struggles that really pulled me in. The book covers themes of homicide, fraud, sexual assault, racism, sexism and addiction. Despite the difficult subject matter, there were also moments of lightness and humour.

I loved this memoir and I’d highly recommend it to you if you’re interested in nonfiction and true crime!

9 thoughts on “Book Review: The Real Prime Suspect by Jackie Malton

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s