Now Then Lad… Tales of a Country Bobby – Mike Pannett

This is Mike Pannett’s story of leaving behind the big city and ‘The Met’ and going back to his roots and gods own country – Yorkshire.

Pannett is a policeman and obviously was held in high regard whilst in the Met and faced some particularly hard and harrowing criminal situations. Back in North Yorkshire he becomes a local rural bobby, and goes make in some ways to old-fashioned policing.

This book is full of tales of the characters that he meets on his patch some 600 square miles! Pannett does one thing in this book and this is bringing to life the landscape of North Yorkshire, the weather, the elements, the changing of the seasons and the impact that wildlife has on the area and eventually on his role within the North Yorkshire Police Force. His stories of the ‘policing’ he does I found rather arrogant and condescending, there is much reference to “when I was at the Met” and they way he has pitched the stories to the reader are as if treating the reader as simple uneducated souls. This actually irritated me throughout the book, and if it was not for the wonderful descriptions of the area I would have given this book up.

There are some interesting tales in there, but to me there was little Yorkshire warmth from Pannett as there could have been and as I have found from other books where a Yorkshire man has taken the time to write about his life and brought affection to it. Because of this I would think twice about reading anything else from this author.

If you have read books by Gervase Phinn (School Inspector), Jack Sheffield (Teacher), Tessa Hainsworth (Postie) James Herriott (Vet) the list is somewhat endless, and I have read many of these authors telling us ‘their story’ . There was something about this book which irritated me beyond belief. I really did find I was having to deal with someone who was writing a book to basically satisfy their own ego.  I understand this perspective because I would love to write a book! The many reviews on Amazon were in the 5 Star range and I could appreciate where they were coming from because I could see these things in this book. However I must have not looked at it (or read it) from that perspective and therefore only gave it 3 out of 5 stars.