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Posted May 12, 2012
When Suzie Ivy asked me to review her book Bad Luck Cadet, her story sounded pretty interesting, so I accepted, but not without a little trepidation. What if I hated the book and wrote a scathing review? It's probably not the smartest thing to have a cop on your case, but I looked on a map and determined that Ms. Ivy lives more than 2,000 miles from me, so she could hardly jump in her police car and pop in on me on an impulse. Or could she? In any case, if things really went south, I could always apply for the government's Reviewer Protection Program. But I was worried for nothing. Bad Luck Cadet was a fascinating account of Ms. Ivy's experience at the police academy. Equally fascinating was the idea of an overweight, sedentary woman in her mid-forties with grown children suddenly deciding she wanted to be a cop. But that's what happened. However, it wasn't just a matter of filling out an application and passing a couple of tests, then being handed a badge and a gun. There was the matter of a grueling eighteen-week session at the Arizona police academy, where the instructors were determined to wash out as many cadets as they could, with women being at the top of their list. The author described it as a "Hollywood set for the remake of Full Metal Jacket." In fact, in some ways the training sounded very similar to the Marines boot camp regimen at Parris Island. In addition to the long classroom hours and the exhausting physical training, the cadets came to dread the morning inspections, where their sergeant examined every inch of their bodies and uniforms to find so much as a hair out of place. Ms. Ivy described the inspections, noting that her OBGYN exams weren't as thorough! Ms. Ivy told her story very simply in a conversational style of writing that was both funny and poignant. It was impossible to read her story without gaining an admiration for her determination to get through the academy even when young men half her age were dropping out. The bottom line: I enjoyed Bad Luck Cadet very much, and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, Bad Luck Officer.
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