NZ Detectives, by John Lockyer (Penguin, RRP $42):
If the growing number of fly-on-the-wall, reality cop shows on television is anything to go by, then I think it’s safe to say we have a fascination with cops and how they do their job.
It’s also safe to say I have no desire to do their job. This isn’t a reflection on our boys and girls in blue; it’s more a reflection on our society because most of the time they get to see us, and deal with us, at our worst: drunk, grieving, angry, scared and everything in between.
NZ Detectives was written to go hand in hand with the television documentary series of the same name, going behind closed doors to meet former and current detectives and get the inside story on some of New Zealand’s biggest criminal cases.
The cops of the CIB are specially trained to investigate serious crimes such as homicides, aggravated assaults, drug offences and fraud, and their targets are often the country’s most hardened criminals.
In this collection of surprisingly candid detective stories, we are treated to an insight into a world most of us can only imagine (and that imagination is most likely tinged with a lot of unrealistic fluff from whatever the latest television crime drama happens to be). However, the reality is at least as interesting and certainly a whole lot more hard- hitting than anything you’ll see in one of those make-believe dramas.