For some reason I can not quite put my finger on, I enjoyed the second book a bit less than the first one. Maybe I should have left more time between them, or maybe I simply wasn't in the right mood. Still, if the author decides to have a third book published, I am quite sure I will buy and read it as well.
In the previous book, we accompany Martyn Johsnon on his first day as a 19-year-old bobby on the beat, and from then on, the reader is lead through many events that have taken place over the years, not always in chronological order. Some of the characters we were introduced to in the first book make an appearance in the second one, and more than once, the author refers to something that he wrote about in the first book, but you can still read them independently from each other without getting confused.
Not really confusing, either, but maybe slightly annoying to an impatient reader is how Mr. Johnson often digresses. He starts a chapter saying that this and that reminded him of some event or other, but it takes him several pages to get to the point of what he was reminded of.
His writing is as if you were listening to an elderly friend or relative, whose narration is not meant as much to impart facts, but more about reminiscing and then adding their comment about how different things are today. This is charming, but can be slightly overdone.
The author never pretends to be a "proper writer", he does not have much in terms of formal education (left school at the age of 15), and you won't find elegant descriptions and fancy words in his books. Instead, you will find sentences like this one:
I love history, although I hated it at school and as a metal detectorist of many years I would love to find the battle site.Everything in this book has really happened; some of the stories told are funny, others tragic and very sad, but even with the most gruesome things happening on his beat, this bobby tries to bring forth the good in people, and rules are never there for their own sake, but can be adapted to make life a tiny bit better for the less fortunate.
As I said, I did enjoy this book, just not as much as the first one. But that is not necessarily Martyn Johnson's fault.