BOOK REVIEW: My Policeman by Bethan Roberts
Hi all! I’m finally talking about My Policeman by Bethan Roberts!
My Policeman is set in 1950s Brighton and follows Marion, Tom and Patrick through the tumultuous landscape of love, secrets and intolerance that ultimately ends in disaster for them all.
Marion is besotted with Tom, her best friend’s brother, from a young age - and though she’s given vague, suggestive warnings from said friend about Tom’s preferences. Marion chooses to ignore these signals, falling deeply in love with Tom and ultimately accepting his marriage proposal.
Tom is a relatively reserved Policeman who, while courting Marion, meets museum curator Patrick. Patrick, who is just as besotted with Tom as Marion, and Tom fall into an illicit love affair which stretches into Tom and Marion’s marriage.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t a huge fan of Marion as a character, I found her vaguely annoying and more than a little boring. I feel, for me, she lacked a depth that I wanted from her - we’re told that she has this fiery temper which is equated to her being a redhead, and apart from one or two moments where this temper flares I never really felt this as a part of her personality. Her chapters left me feeling bored and tired.
Patrick, however, I found to be much more interesting and likeable. I definitely enjoyed his chapters more and was disappointed when they ended.
Tom, I found to be an extremely interesting character, though he’s kept at arms length. Though we see into the thoughts of Marion and Patrick through the letter/diary entry format of the book, we never get any insight into Tom’s thoughts and feelings through all of this and I found myself craving that and disappointed when it never arrived.
I loved the setting of this book. I thought it interesting that it was set in Brighton, a city now known to be the gay capital of the UK with the biggest Pride event of the year held there. It was interesting to read about a Brighton so similar in some ways and so different in others to the one I know and love.
Ultimately, I found the book to be slow and a little boring! It takes a long time to get to the bulk of the story, I grew tired of Marion quickly, and her chapters take up the majority of the book. The middle section, Patrick’s chapters, are definitely the strongest part.
I am definitely looking forward to the movie, I think Harry Styles will make a fabulous Tom and I can’t wait to see him in this role!
Overall I gave My Policeman 3 ⭐