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My Policeman By Bethan Roberts | The Independent
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My Policeman by Bethan Roberts – review
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The other, later, is Patrick. As the book opens, Marion is setting down her story, telling it for Patrick who has had a stroke. Marion is now a school teacher, and strikes up a friendship with Tom who offers to teach her to swim. They become a couple, but their relationship is not exactly romantic.
One day, Tom takes Marion to the museum to meet a friend of his, Patrick, one of the curators. Tom has a naive appreciation for art that belies his tough rugged exterior; Marion goes along with it. Patrick takes up the story in his diaries, and from him, we get to see how circumspect and brave he has to be to maintain a gay relationship during this time when it was illegal — and with a policeman too.
The narrative alternates between the two, each telling us about their policeman. Tom is sometimes quite difficult to read — he has a strong physical presence, but is very laconic, very self-contained and self-absorbed. Our sympathies lie not with him, but with the two people who love him.