Review of Wor Tomis the Polis by Tom Curry.
This book took me down the road of nostalgia. The author is a North East lad, and I hail from the same part of the country. We begin with Tom’s early life and upbringing and I identified with every word of it.
I was born at 101 Mortimer Road, South Shields, Tyne and Weir. I remember going back to visit after grandma died—same address. There was no bathroom, but they were lucky to have a private toilet in a shed, ‘Tek the bairn doon the yard, Charlie.’ They didn’t have to share it with half the street. But they did tear squares of newspaper to use as toilet roll. We had to wash in freezing water at the kitchen sink because the kettle was used for tea that you could stand a spoon in. And they made me drink unpasteurised goats milk. I’ve never taste it since, but I remember the taste as if it was yesterday—foul stuff. Grandma was laid in state in her bed, as was the custom in those days. This dead old lady of 99, had a long grey plait that was as thick as her body and ran to her waist. I had the feeling that her hair had sucked the life out of her. I had to kiss dead grandma, and later that night, after she’d been put in her coffin on the kitchen table, I had to sleep in the same bed as dead Grandma had just come out of.
Young Tom had a similar upbringing and it brought back a lot of memories.
The story is charming, local lad destined for the pit, comes good. He worked on the railway as a young man, and relates the tales of his time there well—bringing vivid pictures of the scenes to mind. Then he found his calling as a policeman.
This is a tale of two halves, early life, and police life, and both as captivating and engaging. The author tells us about his wit and humour throughout. While it’s not side-splitting funny, it does have varied shades of black and white.
A good slice-of-life read.
Katherine Black / Susan (Sooz) Simpson
Founder of Best Book Editors
Katherine has held almost every single job imaginable, from painting gnomes to zookeeper. She spent most of her life in the caring profession and has managed both a nursing home and a care agency. But her passion for the written language always brings her home to novel writing.
Born in Tyne-and-Wear, North-East England, she has settled in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria, with her partner, two dogs, a cat, an iguana and a python (just don’t ask her which of those six things is her favourite!).
She specialises in content creation and social media outreach, and has been a developmental editor for hundreds of clients. She owns and operates bestbookeditors.com where she helps foundling authors polish their skills. However, after being diagnosed with a dramatic brain condition in 2022, she has had to let 23 staff go, and scale back the business. BBE is still very much open, we are just fewer and can’t take as much work on.
Katherine Black is the author of psychological thriller/detective/fantasy adventure novels.