'Bravo Jubilee' is the third in Charlie Owen's series about UK policing in Manchester during the 1970s. It might seem a bit odd to review the third book in a series first, but I've just read this one and it's still fresh in my mind; I'll get around to reviewing his other two novels, 'Horse's Arse' and 'Foxtrot Oscar' later.
Charlie's third novel continues the tale of the D Group coppers from Hanstead nick during the build-up to the Queen's Silver Jubilee of 1977 and is like, as it states on the cover, '...The Sweeney...only harder.'
The novel opens with a double murder and the pace just picks up from there, weaving the aftermath of events from the previous novel ('Foxtrot Oscar') with new stories, both serious and funny, and an underlying theme running throughout the novel of CID's efforts to thwart an LSD manufacturing operation whilst the uniform cops get up to their usual antics; and a bit of law enforcement!
Join the uniformed coppers Pizza, Psycho, the Brothers, Ally and the others to get a glimpse of UK policing from a bygone era, complete with gags, wind-ups and all those things you thought coppers probably got up to but didn't like to ask! Catch up with DCI Harrison and his CID team as they cross swords again with Turkish gangster Sercan Ozdemir who is, predictably, up to no good again, and look forward to the reappearance of 'Ooh Yah' Young and police dog Alfie, who are just as mad as ever; and don't forget to keep an eye out for Psycho's spiked pepper mill!
Charlie Owen is a former police Inspector who wrote his first novel whilst convalescing from injury and it shows, his characters and the situations they find themselves in could only have been written so well by someone who's actually done the job.
All in all 'Bravo Jubilee' is an excellent read, the bad language and crude humour only add to a reader's understanding of what the characters face and how they cope with life policing a place like Handstead New Town in the 1970s, back in the days when the police force was a 'force.'
At a Glance:
Title: Bravo Jubilee
Author: Charlie Owen
Price: paperback rrp £5.99 (currently £3.86 at Asda)
Available from: The Book Depository and all good booksellers.
Overall Rating: five out of five.
Contains adult themes and bad language; excellent!