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Recommended Reads

Handcuffed Emotions - Benjamin Pearson

Ben Pearson has spent the last 19 years of his life fighting crime. He is in the elite Roads Policing Unit of West Yorkshire Police, featured in the hit TV series Police Interceptors showing on Channel 5. As a decorated officer, he has driven in the fastest, most dangerous pursuits. Arrested murders, rapists, alongside high-profile burglars. Taken down the most violent of offenders, bringing them to justice. Unbeknown to Ben, his greatest fight was yet to come. After dealing with a series of heinous, fatal collisions and losing his parents, Ben’s mind became his worst enemy. Handcuffed Emotions: A Police Interceptor’s Drive into Darkness, tells of his fight, not only for his family, his health, and his sanity, but against a system that failed him. Ben’s journey stretches from his early training days as a recruit, through the reality of life as a police officer and known TV personality into the dark depths of PTSD. The incidents are real. His emotions overwhelming. The illness devastating. His remarkable handling of it courageous. Handcuffed Emotions is a must listen for anyone who had suffered debilitating traumas and faced mental illness. It is both enlightening, thought provoking, and brings hope to those who suffer in silence.

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The Body Keeps The Score - Bessel Van Der Kolk

'An astonishing and important book. The trauma Bible. I cannot recommend it enough for anyone struggling with...well...anything' Tara Westover The effects of trauma can be devastating for sufferers, their families and future generations. Here one of the world's experts on traumatic stress offers a bold new paradigm for treatment, moving away from standard talking and drug therapies and towards an alternative approach that heals mind, brain and body. 'Dr. van der Kolk's masterpiece combines the boundless curiosity of the scientist, the erudition of the scholar, and the passion of the truth teller' Judith Herman, author of Trauma and Recovery

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The Heat Of The Moment - Sabrina Cohen-Hatton

'An inspirational memoir from an extraordinary woman . . . A humbling, jaw-dropping read' Viv Groskop 'This book will change the way you think. Forever' Cosmopolitan Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton has been a firefighter for eighteen years. She decides which of her colleagues rush into a burning building and how they confront the blaze. She makes the call to evacuate if she believes the options have been exhausted or that the situation has escalated beyond hope. Taking us to the very heart of firefighting, she immerses us in this extraordinary world; from scenes of devastation and crisis, through triumphs of bravery, to the quieter moments when she questions herself. Revealing her own story for the very first time, she recounts her years spent sleeping rough and her passion for a career that allows her to rescue others as she was never rescued herself. This book is the result of everything she has learnt about how we respond in our most extreme moments. 'This book challenges assumptions about who firefighters are, and about what women can do' The Guardian

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Hotel Tango 23 - Benjamin Pearson

‘Hotel Tango 23 - Responding to the Unknown’ is the sequel, expanding on Ben’s policing career. It tells the heart stopping stories of the adrenaline fuelled life of a highly trained police officer. The book is fast-paced and gives an insight into the world of law enforcement; the good, the bad, and the evil. Respond to the unknown alongside Ben as you experience high speed ‘blue light’ runs, violent arrests, and hard to believe stories of criminal activity, to his days without a badge and rehabilitation from a premature career ending. Ben now divides his time between promoting his YouTube channel, and public speaking about mental health.

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The Police Mind - Dr Jessica K Miller

How does it feel to be a police officer in the UK? What happens in the brains of officers, particularly in high-risk roles such as counter-terrorism and child sexual exploitation? Jessica Miller uses the most recent neuroscience and real-life examples to explore risks to individual resilience, be it trauma exposure, burnout or simply the daily pressure of adapting to life on the front line. A compulsory read for anyone with an interest in policing, the book offers practical, easy-to-follow resilience techniques applicable to anyone in the wider emergency responder community. The book also offers policy and operational recommendations to equip police officers with skills to face crime in a post-COVID world.

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Blue -John Sutherland

John Sutherland joined the Met Police in 1992, having dreamed of being a police officer since his teens. Rising quickly through the ranks, and compelled by the opportunity to make a real difference in London's local neighbourhoods, he worked across the capital, experiencing firsthand the enormous satisfaction as well as the endless trauma that a life in blue can bring. There were remarkable, career-defining moments: reaching out to teenagers travelling along the wrong path, commanding armed sieges, rescuing victims of domestic violence from desperate situations, saving lives, and seeing dangerous people taken off the streets. But for every case that ended well, there were others that ended in desperate sadness, as he bore the responsibility for the safety of hundreds of thousands of Londoners on his shoulders. In early 2013, whilst working as the Borough Commander for Southwark in South London, John suffered a major breakdown and a consequent battle with crippling depression. After a career spent policing the streets and racing to be first at the scenes of crimes and catastrophes, he found himself in pieces, unable to put one foot in front of the other. Blue is a memoir of crime and calamity, of adventure and achievement, of friendship and failure, of laughter and loss, of the best and the worst of humanity, of serious illness and slow recovery. It offers an immensely moving and important insight into what it is to be a police officer in 21st-century Britain.


The Myth of Normal - Dr Gabor Mate

We tend to believe that normality equals health. Yet what is the norm in the Western world? Mental illness is on an unstoppable rise. Some 45% of Europeans suffer high blood pressure, and nearly 70% of Americans take at least one prescription drug. Illness and trauma are defining how we live. In his new masterpiece, renowned physician, addiction expert and author Gabor Maté dissects the underlying causes of this malaise - physical and emotional, and connects the dots between our personal suffering and the pressures of modern-day living. Over four decades of clinical experience, Dr Maté has found that the common definition of 'normal' is false: virtually all disease is actually a natural reflection of life in an abnormal culture, as we grow further and further apart from our true selves. But he also shows us the pathway to reconnection and healing. Filled with stories of people in the grip of illness or in the triumphant wake of recovery, this life-affirming book shows how true health is possible - if we are willing to embrace authenticity above social expectations. The Myth of Normal is Gabor Maté's most ambitious, compassionate and urgent book yet.


Up In Smoke - Leigh Hosy-Pickett

'Hilarious' Russell Brand 'Fascinating, funny, moving' Richard Herring 'Totally engaging, highly inspiring and impossible to put down' Nazir Afzal OBE Leigh Hosy-Pickett has seen it all in his twenty-five years as a firefighter. He's battled infernos and pulled people from the wreckage of twisted metal but the closest he ever came to death was at the hands of a confused hen do. Now he's here to tell us the funniest, most eye-opening and moving stories from a life lived amongst the smoke. From blazes involving sex toys, to navigating cannabis farm security measures, this brilliantly warm and entertaining book by a third-generation firefighter is a celebration of the everyday heroism of our Fire Service. But it is also a clear-eyed and honest record of the many sacrifices made in the line of duty and the consequences of that heroism. 'A likeable and illuminating account' TLS 'A real insight into the day to day commitment of our firefighters' Nick Knowles


My Life on the Front Line of the Ambulance Service - Dan Farnworth

In this updated edition, taking in his experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, Dan Farnworth brings vividly to life his astonishing times as a medic working on the frontline of the UK Ambulance Service. When the 999 call goes out, he has little idea what he will find - and how he will cope with the challenges he faces when he gets there. Having worked in the emergency services for more than fifteen years, Dan Farnworth has seen it all. There was the time he was called to take away a dead body - only for the 'corpse' to jolt back into life and demand to know what he was doing in her house. Earlier in his career, he unwittingly disturbed a crime scene as he shared the sad news of the victim's death with her son. Along with the 18,000 other paramedics in the UK who serve us day and night, Dan constantly finds himself pushed into extraordinary circumstances where he not only has to deal with those he has been sent to help, but also their worried families and friends - and even with irate drivers who object to his ambulance getting in their way as he desperately works to save someone's life. There is a special camaraderie among paramedics, and 999 - Life on the Frontline is packed with stories that are sometimes sad, occasionally hilarious, often moving but always inspirational. However, the work also takes its emotional toll, and Dan won an ITV NHS Heroes Award after setting up the Our Blue Light Campaign that helps those in his profession suffering from PTSD - something that struck him after a truly shocking event. His story will make you see our ambulance service in a completely new way.


Have you read a book recently that you think may help others or may be of interest. Then get in touch with your recommendations; write a short review as to the synopsis and why its recommended. 

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