And here I am. Totally alone in a cell with a convicted sex offender who is free to do what he wants. There is no officer. No handcuffs. No radio. Only the man across the desk and me. He looks more petrified than I do.
HMP Graymoor. One of the UK’s most notorious prisons. Home to nearly 800 murderers, rapists and child molesters.
Reporting for her first shift inside is Rebecca: twenty-two, newly graduated – and about to sit down with some of the country’s most dangerous criminals.
In this gripping, hard-hitting memoir, forensic psychologist Dr Rebecca Myers revisits her time in the ‘Hot Seat’ with Graymoor’s infamous inmates – who might not be as different to us as we think.
This is as close as we can get to knowing what really goes on inside the damaged minds behinds bars.
I was busy procrastinating and found myself on Net galley and thought oh this looks good and requested it and to my surprise I was accepted : ) so I finished my current read and pushed this to the top of my TBR pile and I wasn’t disappointed.
The book starts as Rebecca starts her first day as a prison Psychologist at the infamous Graymoor prison full of murder’s and sex offenders. We are introduce to a range of characters from prisioners Wayne, Jeremy who sets Rebecca’s Imposter Syndrome on full alert, Sid and Nigel who are all in Graymoor for sex offenses and sometimes also murder along with a cast of prison officers Len, Daniel and Kenny who sit in these sessions with Rebecca as she tries to teach the inmates ways to stop them offending in the future and also ways to understand why they did what they did. Wayne’s story is on I found especally heart breaking but all of these men who have done some of the most terrible things grew on me and at times I just wanted to give them a hug. (probably not one of my better ideas)
What I also loved about this book is the author’s internal monologue and how she sees some of the journeys these men have been through to get to where they are echoed in her own past and she doesn’t take the view of “well i’ve been through that and i’ve turned out okay?” She is noting but understanding and compassionate. These are the real men behind the headlines and how they’ve got to where they are today and some of the coping mechanisms they can use in the future.
Some of the things these men did are heart breaking and at times very dark and I found worrying having small children myself but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel somewhere.
With reading this book on kindle at times i found myself confused with the acronyms SOP? CB? and could have done with noting down these means at the start of the book so I could easily remember them.
I also didn’t realise till I got to the end of this book that all this was going on in the early 90s and how the work Rebecca did was only the ground work for how prisoners are being treated today. With all the trauma in this book I’m glad that at least half of the men Rebecca treated might just be back in our society hopefully doing okay and that Rebecca herself has kids and a hubby and is also doing just fine.
Thank you to net galley and Harper Collins for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review. I’m glad that I took the chance on this book and you gave me a voice to talk about this book which I will be for how a while….