#BookReview #SaveOneChild by Ian James @IanMbe @WildWolfPublish @rodglenn

Save One Child by [James, Ian]

Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:

In the late 1970s, Detective Ian James had quickly risen through the ranks of the London Metropolitan Police. After ten years, he relocated North to Cleveland where he continued in the role of a detective running informants on the Regional Crime Squad and National Crime Squad to infiltrate the underworld. Drugs and gun were on his watch.

Then, a chance meeting with an old friend changed his life forever. Would he like to be part of a team of just four setting up a brand-new unit working in a dark and challenging world? It meant that for the next two decades he would assume a new identity. For the purpose of the role, Ian became a paedophile. The result is that he saved dozens of children from abuse and sent to prison many who were a danger to society.

This is his incredible true story.

My thoughts:

I approached this book with caution well aware that this was no fictionalised account of what goes on in the world of paedophiles and the policing of them. This was the true story of one Detective who had taken on the darkest role of all, to infiltrate the monsters who prey on our children.

The book starts with a potted history of Ian James’s policing career before moving onto his undercover involvement. The training involved was hard, he had to learn not to react to some of the vilest scenes and indeed he had to learn how to respond as a paedophile. In essence, he had to become two different people.

It is a dark book of that there is no doubt but it also highlights the bravery and resilience of those involved in undercover work, the danger they place themselves in both physically and mentally as their two very different worlds collide. It demonstrates, as we all know, that paedophiles are not always the grubby old men in dirty macs but that they live and walk among us, part of the community, in work, married with families and doing the everyday things that we all do.

It also highlights the trauma that such a position can bring, the months in preparation for the work, infiltrating the networks takes its toll and can affect the undercover officer’s perception on normal everyday activities thereafter. They see the danger in every scenario no matter how innocent. Imagine living your life like that.

The book also explores the changes in legislation that offered a greater degree of protection to victims of abuse along with the advent of the internet and social media which took the whole paedophile network to a new level.

It’s not an easy read, there is no graphic content but you don’t need it to imagine what goes on in the minds of the perpetrators. Told almost matter of factly, it is, I imagine, how the inside of the writers head must feel as he reflects back on a career where he had to lose all emotion to be able to make the connections with and infiltrate the networks. A great procedural insight into the world of undercover detectives in what must be the most harrowing field to work in.

“Save One Child” is available to purchase from Amazon UK and Amazon US

Thanks to Rod Glen, Wild Wolf Publishing and the author, Ian James for the ARC to review

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