A Review by Julie Ellsmoor


Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Polyster Thong

(c) 2013 Gina Kirkham

Julie is the accomplished blog author of  ‘Close Encounters of the Autistic Kind’, which is read worldwide and can also be viewed on WordPress. Her funny and poignant story follows the love, trials, tribulations, courage, determination and humour of an extraordinary Mum and her extra-extraordinarily wonderful son John, who has autism.

She was asked to review Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Polyester Thong for two very important reasons;

1) She is as “off the wall and happy go lucky” as I am, so would not be alarmed by naughty words like baps, noobs or faark

2) She is also brutally honest with her reviews and opinions, full of integrity and most importantly, would not succumb to threats, blackmail, personal incentives (not even chocolate, wine or a £5 backhander)…………no matter how hard I tried.

In the end I had to eat the chocolate myself which contributed to my already large, curvy butt,  drink the wine (thanks Julie for the hangover) and I owed my long suffering Hubby a fiver, so that took care of that.

Fortunately, after waiting less than 24 hours without food, water or sleep in nervous anticipation, Julie put me out of my misery with my first full read review of my almost, but not quite 100,000 word, eight months in the making, baby:-

“I knew after the first chapter that I was going to love Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Polyester Thong, and after the fourth chapter I knew you had written a seriously good book.  I was hooked and became very anti-social yesterday so that I could spend as much time as possible with my new friend, Mavis Upton.

It is hard not to sound like a sycophant, because often when asked for honest opinions, we don’t always give them; preferring instead to say how they are ‘wonderful’, ‘fabulous’, and ‘the best thing ever’.

However your book is all of those superlatives and more.

I love the way you start at the end of Mavis’ career and write by reflection.  It works so well in this book.  The way you link your chapters is spot on and your style of writing makes the book flow and therefore, it is easy to read.  You have brought the characters to life, not just Mavis and Joe, but the supporting cast too.  Your clever use of pathos and humour provides the book with balance.

The childhood stories about Christmas were so beautifully orchestrated, I could almost taste the chocolate pudding that had to be scraped from the ceiling.  I couldn’t contain myself with laughter when Ella told Mavis on the telephone that the hamster had ‘shat’ in the bath.  You ended that chapter with an excellent punch line.

Poor Petey.  How the hell did he ever pass his training, let alone his Probation.  Little Amy having to look after her siblings.  I could almost wipe her tears Gina, so real was your writing.

I loved the bald ‘druggy’ nutter in chapter 24.  The line ‘death to the infidels’ had me howling with laughter.  The whole chapter was hysterical, as was chapter 33, Captain Corelli’s Ukulele.  I was guffawing the whole way through the book.  Your Characters are believable and your storyline is sublime.  Whilst I was reading it I could see the visual pictures in my head, which make it all the funnier.

The story of Mavis’ Mum had me in floods of tears.  You made me feel every emotion she was feeling and my heart was breaking for her. Again you managed to weave laughter into this emotional piece by sharing her Mum’s sense of humour, which never left her even in her darkest hours.  The way you developed Mavis and Joe’s love story was brilliant.  It is easy to see why she fell for him and he for her.  The farting scene is hilarious.

If I carried on quoting everything that made me laugh or cry, we would be here all day and I have to start making amends to friends and family for cancelling lunch dates and the quiz night in favour of Mavis.

Gina, you really have penned a superb book which should be snapped up ASAP so that everyone gets the chance to share Mavis’ story.  The Editor is right to say it’s a Policewoman’s Bridget Jones……if its not snapped up for film rights, I will eat your police hat, the one with the ‘unmentionable body part’ drawn inside!

I am honoured to have been asked to read it.  I wish for you to have all the success you deserve.  Now I can’t wait for book number two…!

As Mavis would say ‘faarking fantastic’……….”

Julie E

Visit Julie at http://www.closeencountersoftheautistickind.wordpress.com