I came across this book because I was lucky enough back in July to meet Ash Cameron at the Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival. She was fun, lively and very confident in her presence being there; everything I was not. I was a nervous wreck feeling like a fraud to be in such a place amongst other crime writers who seemed to know what they doing! Ash was however, awesome, and whether it was her natural instinct, a maternal act or those years as a cop lending the experience, she seemed to recognise a lost, nervous little bird and quickly took me under her wing.
So of course when I heard she was an ex-undercover cop and had written such a book, as any crime writer wants that kind of insight, I bought the kindle book and started reading the moment I got home.
Straight to the point! that is how I would describe it. This is not a crime thriller story, this is a real account and in that sense it can get rather emotional when you keep realising you are very much reading about real people and real lives. It’s an autobiography over 15 years of dealing with cases from robberies, fraud, street crime, sex workers and even organised swinging parties. then it really gets gritty as she moved departments into the Child protection and vulnerable persons unit, dealing with people a lot of crime writers wont write about. The kind of people we see on the news and pray our children will never come across. Sadly the most common children who do come across these monsters, as Cameron explains rather heartbreakingly, are their own children.
In these instances she gives them the time they need, but she doesn’t indulge too much and doesn’t detail what she doesn’t have to. Years of dealing with delicate, vulnerable witnesses and victims has clearly provided her with the ability to get to the point she needs to without going over the top or pushing too much into the horrid details of the crime.
She is also very good at informing the reader of what is to come next and that we may wish to skip over it if we’re not sure we want to read and hear about such things.
Back in July I got talking to Ash about the fact we both want to write more about the female criminal, as I have done in once Upon a Set of Wheels and did a little in Judged by your Peers. having dealt with many female criminals, from prostitutes to the type of mother no-one would ever want, she reinforced what i have believed for many years, through studying forensics, talking with members of the CPS and researching historical cases; women are very underestimated in the criminal world, when in fact they can be the worst kind of criminal. We both spoke how we’d like to produce of strong calibre that put the female criminal out there. I feel from reading this that Ash Cameron is not just going to do it, but she’s going to blow us away with it, and I very much look forward to what she’s going to be coming up with in the future.
Find her links here: