I read The Policewoman this past May after reading a few reviews on Goodreads. People had good things to say about and it sounded like a unique story. I noticed that The Policewoman was even on Amazon’s Best-Seller list for awhile as you can see below. I gave it a go and was very pleased with the story. I originally did a post in May with my review, but after speaking with Justin Roberts, I thought it would be nice to learn a little more about him and share it with readers. You can see my review below, what a few other Goodread’s friends are saying about the book, and a Q&A with Justin Roberts.
The plot for The Policewoman takes place in 2026 and begins with an Indonesian policewoman who transfers temporarily into a special forces/Interpol team to investigate and take down an Irish drug cartel. This cartel has managed to set up narcotics manufacturing in multiple places including Indonesia, Ireland and England. The drug cartel’s core consists of ex-soldiers from the British Army and they’ll do whatever they want in order to prevail.
The story touches on Sarah and her family. The reader gets a pretty good feel that she comes from a great family and has a strong relationship with her little sister, Cindy, and her brother, Tony, who works a similar job. She’s transferring to a new team and much of the beginning covers the relationships she’s building with her new teammates, mainly Michael. I have to say that I absolutely loved the chemistry between Sarah and Michael. I admired that the author managed to incorporate some romance into all the military/police drama going on here. I also appreciated the description of all the added training Sarah must undergo and the way they all have to watch their backs and each other. You get a strong sense of the importance of ‘team’ which I love.
There’s a ton of action in this story! I haven’t read a book this action packed since Dark Matter. I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of characters, acronyms, special teams, regiments, squadrons, company’s and weaponry, but you don’t really need to concern yourself with all of them in order to enjoy the story and follow along without getting lost. The glossary in the back has a list of all of them that you can easily flip to if need be.
The character development was spot-on for me. It really helped that the author used real life actors, actresses, and singers to describe some of the main characters to help the reader get a visual of what they look like. I enjoyed the majority of the good characters while hating the bad ones. I literally wanted Niall to burn for what he had done to people, but the revenge wasn’t as strong as I expected when it came time for him. I also had a few issues with Sarah’s character. What’s not to like about Sarah, really? She’s beautiful, intelligent, strong, and pretty much bad-to-the-bone. What almost spoiled that for me was the fact that she knew she was and practically every male in the story is doting over her which seemed a little extreme. It made her character feel a little unrelatable at times. A few times in the story I wasn’t pleased with the way Sarah treated Michael in regards to his looks. As the story moves along, Sarah’s character becomes better understood and you start to realize just how much she genuinely loves Michael.
Conclusion: Overall, it was written amazingly well with a few unexpected twists and turns. The detail and extensive military knowledge the author has is incredible and the dialogue is impeccable. This isn’t a genre that I normally rush to pick up, but I enjoyed it as the author included a little bit of everything here. Anyone who enjoy’s military/police crime books will undoubtedly LOVE this book and I can see this story turned into a movie or even a TV series. If that were the case, I’d love to see Michelle Rodriguez play Sarah as I think she fits the personality.
My rating on this one was 4 stars in May but changed to five with the new version. Let’s see what other people are saying about it.
“The novel is pretty damn awesome as a police drama. Lots of action, good surprises (in that it keeps us on our toes), and great pacing. I think it’s rather refreshing the way things always move along and we see so much of Sarah’s life and career. It feels like years pass even though it’s only six months. There’s a lot of action.” – Brad – 5*****
This compelling read had all the ingredients to make it work – crime, military and police action, breathtaking scenes that made it hard to put the book down, romance, shocks, but also brutality/torture that is hard to read at times. However, everything blended together to create a great read. If you’re looking for an impressive action packed thriller, that isn’t afraid to show some emotion, then you won’t be disappointed.” Maureen – 4****
“This satisfyingly complex and intricately plotted thriller with characters that light up the pages might be the best book you read this summer. It belongs in the same class of highly entertaining international thrillers as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” or “I am Pilgrim”. Don’t miss this one! ” Ed – 5*****
“The author’s writing evokes intensity, suspense, adventure and excitement, everything a story like this should have, and it’s a deeply imaginative and creative work full of unexpected twists and surprises. Still, my favourite part is the author’s powerful use of imagery to set the scene and the elaborate plot he has created. This book is excellent and one that I would recommend to any reader looking for something with depth and originality, especially if you like a main character who isn’t afraid to take risks to protect the people closest to her.” Rebecca McNutt– 5*****
“The story itself is amazing. The author spins an intricate tale of intrigue and action surrounding an Indonesian police woman fighting the drug cartel. The depth of the plot and the unfolding of events in the book has elements of a best seller.” Todd Coburn – 4****
“This is an amazing story that definitely packs a punch. Justin W. M. Roberts has put together an incredibly entertaining Action Thriller, which I found hard to pull myself away from. Great characters, and a wonderful amount of action throughout the book. I really enjoyed the history that’s also been incorporated into the story.” – Todd Simpson – 5*****
I was able to speak with Justin Roberts to learn a little more about him as an author and also to discuss some changes taking place with The Policewoman. Here’s our discussion below…
-Q&A with author Justin W.M. Roberts –
Q: How does writing make you feel and does it come easy for you?
A: Once I get going, I usually can’t stop. The hardest thing for me is to stop procrastinating and just get going.
Q: What have you discovered is the best way to market your books?
A: Through connecting with Goodreads members.
Q: What are a few of your favorite childhood authors or books.
A: The Indian in the Cupboard series by Lynne Reid Banks
Q: What does literary success look like to you?
A: Success means I can write full-time
Q: What authors come to mind for you when thinking about the most successful writers today?
A: JK Rowling, of course
Q: What tools do you use for writing? (computer, typewriter, books, or magazines, etc.)
A: Just my laptop
Q: The Policewoman obviously took extensive research and knowledge to write. How do you start out writing a book like this? Do you use an outline, collect pieces of writing and add them together in the end, or use a strategy?
A: Like JK Rowling with the Harry Potter series, I had the ending in mind before the rest of the book. I then wrote the premises and detail. The first 4 chapters were actually the very last chapters I wrote.
Q: What initially peaked your interest in writing about drug cartels and narcoterrorism?
A: The antagonists were initially Serbian organ black marketers, but then I changed them to Irish drug smugglers.
Q: How long would you say it took you to write The Policewoman?
A: Around 2 years.
Q: How did you come up with the character names in The Policewoman?
A: There used to be a pretty Indonesian model named Sarah Darmawan. I like the name and decided to use it for the main protagonist.
Q: How exactly did you conduct the research for The Policewoman?
A: I’ve read many books written by ex-SAS soldiers. Wikipedia also helped, but I would need to confirm that with other sources.
Q: What was the most difficult part of writing The Policewoman?
A: Finding the time to write it.
Q: What can you tell readers about the sequel to The Policewoman you’re working on now and when can we expect it?
A: It’s still a long way to go. I’ve just finished the prologue. The plot is there, but I need to divide my time between marketing The Policewoman and writing the sequel.
Q: Can we expect the addition of any new characters?
A: Almost all of the characters will be new.
Q: Some readers have mentioned that the acronyms and military descriptions in The Policewoman have been a little confusing or distracting to them. What can you say to your readers about this?
A: The revised version will address this issue, especially for the first 4 chapters.
Q: Do you always try to be original or to deliver what readers desire?
A: I definitely try to be original. Not many authors choose to write in present tense, for example.
Q: You’ve recently made some changes to The Policewoman. What made you decide to make these changes?
A: A lot of reviewers complained about the info dumping in the first 4 chapters. A lot of them would’ve quit reading if I hadn’t asked them to finish Chapter 5. Once they finish Chapter 5, readers are usually hooked.
Q: How do you make changes to a book when it’s already been published?
A: This is one of the biggest advantages if you self-publish. You can revise it anytime you want.
Q: There have been interesting conversations between readers when talking about who should play the main characters in the event that The Policewoman is adapted into a movie. What do you think about some of the suggestions from other readers?
Justin Roberts: I’m excited that a lot of readers want my book to be adapted into a movie. This would be a dream come true. I really enjoy discussing this with readers, but if it were up to me, this would be the cast:
Sarah: Anllela Sagra (fitness model) -or-
Pevita Pearce (actress)
Michael: Chris Pratt
Patrick: Liam Neeson
Tiny: Dave Bautista
Sheila: Stephanie Davies (fitness model)
Cormac: Benedict Cumberbatch
Sir Charles Mountbatten: Jason Isaacs
Q: What are some activities or hobbies you like to do in your free time outside of writing. Do you have any favorite films, songs, music artists, or activities you enjoy?
A: I like pistol shooting at the shooting range. I try to go every Saturday. Sunday is for the family. A favorite band is BonJovi. A few of my favorite movies are The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Saving Private Ryan.
I’d like to thank author Justin Roberts for his time with completing this Q&A so that I can share it with other readers.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about author Justin Roberts and if you haven’t read The Policewoman yet, be sure to grab yourself a copy.
- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Lulu Publishing Services (March 29, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1483459845
- ISBN-13: 978-1483459844
Justin W.M. Roberts was born in London, son of a British Army General, and grew up in Hong Kong, Germany, and England. After graduating from Hull university with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Psychology, he continued traveling and living in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
He currently lives in Indonesia where he is an analyst of political affairs and an active promoter of secular humanism.
You can find author Justin Roberts on: