Black and Blue by Parm Sandhu review – home truths about life in the Met

The police force’s former highest ranked BAME officer tells of her 30-year fight against entrenched racism and sexism

In August last year, when the Metropolitan police ended its active investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence after 27 years, the Met’s commissioner, Cressida Dick, gave an interview in which she rejected the idea that institutional racism still persists in the force. Former chief superintendent Parm Sandhu, the highest-ranked BAME (her preferred term) woman in the Met, begs to differ. Black and Blue is her account of a 30-year career that saw her break through multiple glass ceilings, but which ended in her resignation in 2019 after charges of gross misconduct and a spate of damaging media stories.

Her alleged offence was to have lobbied on her own behalf for honours, a technical breach she concedes, but she points out that she could not rely on the old boys’ network that benefits her white male colleagues. She was later exonerated, and notes that black and minority ethnic officers are twice as likely to be investigated for misconduct as their white counterparts.

Continue reading...


Ghost Lover by Lisa Taddeo review – in the company of men

The Three Women author once again explores female desire and sexual power dynamics in a collection o...

Read More >

The Bloater by Rosemary Tonks review – 1960s gem rescued from obscurity

This caustically comic tale of a disaffected wife, back in print for the first time in half a centur...

Read More >

Fight Night by Miriam Toews review – a paean to the strength of women

The Canadian author once again mines her cultural background in a wonderfully drawn celebration of i...

Read More >

You Have a Friend in 10A by Maggie Shipstead review – flawed lives fluently explored

The novelist shows her expertise in the briefer format in tales of sexual power, self-delusion and f...

Read More >

Lost & Found by Kathryn Schulz review – life-changing moments of love and death

A memoir by the Pulitzer-winning New Yorker writer offers a fresh look at the most profound experien...

Read More >

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus review – the right comic formula

A tale of female disempowerment in the 50s and 60s gets a culinary tweak in this sweet revenge comed...

Read More >