Non-Fiction · Prison story

*12 days of Clink Street* Veronica’s Bird – Veronica Bird & Richard Newman ★★★★★

Blurb; Veronica Bird was one of nine children living in a tiny house in Barnsley with a brutal coal miner for a father. Life was a despairing time in the Fifties as Veronica sought desperately to keep away from his cruelty. However, a glimmer of hope revealed itself as she, astonishingly to her and her mother, won a scholarship to Ackworth Boarding School where she began to shine above her class-mates.

A champion in all sports, Veronica at last found some happiness. That was until her brother-in-law came into her life. It was as if she had stepped from the frying pan into the fire.

He soon began to take control over her life removing her from the school she adored, two terms before she was due to take her GCEs, so he could put her to work as cheap labour on his market stall. Abused for many years by these two men, Veronica eventually ran away from him and applied to the Prison Service, intuiting that it was the only safe place she could trust.

Accepted into the Prison Service at a time when there were few women working in the industry, Veronica applied herself every day to learning her new craft even training in Holloway Prison where Myra Hindley was an inmate. With no wish to go outside the prison, Veronica remained inside on-duty. While her colleagues went out to the pub, the theatre or to dine she didn’t feel able to join them.

Her dedication was recognised and she rose rapidly in the Service moving from looking after dangerous women prisoners on long-term sentences to violent men and coming up against such infamous names as The Price sisters, Mary Bell and Charles Bronson. The threat of riots was always very close and escapes had to be dealt with quickly.

After becoming a Governor, Veronica was tasked with what was known within the Service as a ‘basket case’ of a prison. However, with her diligence and enthusiasm Veronica managed to turn it around whereupon it became a model example to the country and she was recognised with an honour from the Queen. With this recognition the EU invited her to lead a team to Russia and her time in Ivanovo Prison, north east of Moscow, provides an illuminating and humorous insight into a different prison culture.

My Review; I absolutely loved this book! I have always been fascinated about prisons, so this book was perfect. A little different from what I usually read as this is a non fiction book, a true story. But it’s brilliant!

As a true story you really get to know Veronica up close and personal, through the good and bad! She is a woman I admire with an interesting life story to tell. I was well and truelly hooked, I wanted to know everything about what this woman experienced and had to tell me especially inside of the prisons she worked in.

Parts will have you laughing, parts will make you gasp. Veronica is one extraordinary woman. I loved the photos included in the middle of the book making it more personal and a look into the history of how prisons were run and criminals dealt with (a lot has changed since then).

Beautifull written and told. Highly recommend. A story that is going to stick with me for a long time. A well deserved five stars from me.

Amazon Link UK

Amazon Link US

crime · mystery · Prison story · suspense · thriller

Locked Up – GB Williams ★★★★

Blurb; A prison officer and a convicted killer must work together to solve a brutal murder and expose conspiracy inside a prison.

Ariadne Teddington is surrounded by people who lie but that is to be expected when you work in prison where every man claims to be innocent.

Charlie Bell, an ex Detective, now finds himself in that prison serving time for murder after having taken the law into his own hands.

When a fellow inmate is killed Charlie is asked to investigate the case from the inside. Soon Charlie finds himself working with Ariande but she is a guard, he is an inmate and some lines should never be crossed…

Can two people on different sides of the law come together to solve the case?

And do the answers lie closer to home than anyone ever imagined?

My Review; I am a big fan of prison stories and documentaries, so I knew before I even started this book that I would love it. Locked Up is book number one in The Locked trilogy. I also think the cover is gorgeous and grabs the readers eye.

Locked Up is written well, easy to read and fast paced! It has drama after drama after drama… There is always something going on to hold the readers interest throughout and an action packed ending. A very clever, interesting read. A great start to what I suppose will be an amazing trilogy!

I awarded a well deserved four stars, I am off to devour book two now (Locked In) I already know its going to be good! Highly recommend so far.

crime · Prison story · suspense · thriller

*BLOG TOUR* The Boy Inside – Ross Greenwood. ✶✶✶✶

How can you make the right decisions if everything you’ve been told is a lie?

With absent parents and broken friends, twenty-one year old Ben is making choices, which are ruining his life. In jail, again, he and his cellmate, Jake, take a hostage in a futile gesture against a system they can’t control.

This powerful, beautifully written novel gives a vivid and realistic picture of those we send to prison.

Who would you rely on if you were locked up?
Do we ask the most from the ones who have the least?
Life is never easy when you are a boy inside.

My Review:
WOW! I hardly ever read stories to do with prison, prisoners and criminals etc.. Especially like this one and I loved it! A new favourite for me, I find prison and how prisoners and workers cope in that environment very interesting but I don’t fancying being in prison thanks! I loved how the story was told and the way it was split into different parts, it suited the story really well. One minute I felt Ben deserved everything he got then the next I am thinking NO, RUN RUN RUN! Or backing him up to sort himself out and I am not one to help criminals (usually ;)).

The Boy Inside is written well, easy to read and contains short chapters. It will have you hooked. This is the first book I have read by Ross and it will not be my last either. I really enjoyed reading this story, it’s another well deserved five stars from me! This story highlights just how easy criminals can end up back in prison and why. You will not want to put this book down! There are many scenes which do contain ‘heavy fighting’ but you would expect that within prison wouldn’t you? There was a particular few chapters in this story that really had me LAUGHING OUT LOUD which you wouldn’t expect from a book like this but it was perfectly placed and relevant. Loved it! Highly recommend! Enjoy.

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