As a thriller writer, I found previous books by Stephen Wade and Stuart Gibbon fast became my go-to reference books. The Crime Writer’s Casebook, with case studies from real crimes, explanations of forensics and police procedure and an understandable A to Z index of legal terms, is an absolute must have, as is Being a Detective – an essential guide to all things police procedural. While googling something on the subject of drink related crime recently, it was interesting to note that the first thing that popped up opened with: ‘Television should not be your only source of research’, and that is so true. If you want the actual facts, this latest easy to read reference guide will give you the information concisely. A Comprehensive Guide to DRINK AND DISORDER aims to provide informed guidance on police procedure and policing, alongside historical narrative, written by two experts in their field. The title immediately intrigued me. Many characters within the pages we write and read, often turn to drink in despair, or are perhaps addicted to drink. How many people use drink to bolster their courage or, referring to the quote in the opening pages, as ‘…an excuse for their misdeeds…’ – The Roots of Evil, Christopher Hibbert. My big dilemma is always: how responsible are they for those misdeeds? The guide refers to the ‘complicated inter-relationship of intention, context and state of mind’. Basically, it answers my questions, also looking at how alcohol is steeped in our culture, often almost a rite of passage from boyhood to manhood, and the destructive/criminal element within a social context.
I was delighted to find at the back of the book the trusty index I’ve become familiar with, allowing me to immediately flip to the pertinent subject. We begin with ‘Accidents, Alcohol and Risk’, which starts with a brief history and then lists every Act relating to the subject you can conceive of, leading to current law and actual case studies (brilliantly informative), followed by examples of police intervention and why they would intervene.
I’m going on. I’m excited, can you tell? This little book is absolute gold dust for me. We have essential information on ‘Causing Death by careless driving/drink/drugs’ – a very sensitive subject, making it so important to get the facts right – right through to ‘Unlawful violence’ and ‘Violent disorder’.
A Comprehensive Guide to DRINK AND DISORDER might sometimes make sobering reading, but it’s essential reference material in my book. I honestly can’t recommend the guides produced by these two experts highly enough.
I continue to use one of the author’s services as a writing consultant, Stuart Gibbon, a former Met Police detective with 30 years’ experience in crime investigation, a DCI on murder cases and also an SIO on the East Midlands Special Operations Unit. (You can find him at GIB Consultancy http://gibconsultancy.co.uk/). I’d just like to add a personal note thanking him for his invaluable advice. I tend to hit a brick wall when I worry I haven’t got something right. Thanks, Stuart!
Amazon Link: A Comprehensive Guide to DRINK AND DISORDER