‘Every contact leaves a trace’
John Sutherland joined the Met 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 to people’s lives, he worked across the capital, experiencing first-hand the enormous satisfaction as well as the endless trauma that a life in blue can bring.
There were remarkable, career-defining moments: commanding armed sieges, saving lives and helping to take dangerous people off the streets. But for every case with a happy ending, there were others that ended in desperate sadness.
In early 2013, John suffered a major breakdown and consequent battle with crippling depression. After a career spent racing to be the first at the scene 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. With searing honesty, it offers an immensely moving and personal insight into what it is to be a police officer in Britain today.
"A stark account of a talented police officer's breakdown . . . This is a startlingly honest book and the final two chapters are heartbreaking" - Richard Morrison, The Times
"The effect of this honesty is to leave us both more appreciative of police officers and more concerned for their well-being, as well as encouraged that such a compassionate man was promoted so vertiginously. He describes police work as "fulfilling, humbling, inspiring, daunting, shattering, rewarding and soul-stirring" which is also a fair description of his book" - Josh Raymond, Times Literary Supplement
"An honest look at the vulnerability that comes with bravery" - the i