My Policeman by Bethan Roberts - review

My Policeman by Bethan Roberts - review

My Policeman by Bethan Roberts – review

My Policeman book summary

The story takes place in Brighton and bounces between the 1950s and 1990s. It’s in 1950s Brighton where a teenage Marion first meets Tom, her best friend’s brother. Marion is immediately smitten. 

A few years pass, Tom has returned from National Service and is training to be a policeman, Marion is now a qualified teacher and determined to win his love.  

But Tom has another life, another equally obsessive claim to his heart. Patrick works at the Brighton Museum and falls in love with his policeman and Tom’s eyes are opened to a new sophisticated world. But homosexuality was illegal in the 1950s and Tom chooses to marry Marion instead. 

“The two lovers share him until one of them breaks and three lives are destroyed.”  

The story is told through the dual narrative of Marion and Patrick, both writing about Tom. 

My Policeman review

My Policeman is a novel that pits two love rivals against each other. The book is a beautifully told story of wasted years and misguided love. 

The switching between dual narratives and eras makes for an exciting and engaging read. It perfectly evokes the period and place and will create a strong and vivid image of 1950s Brighton for you. 

My policeman book summary - my policeman film 2021 - my policeman cast - book review
My policeman book summary

The book evokes deeply compassionate moments as you are walked through Marion’s unrequited love and heartbreak and the harshness of life as a homosexual in the 1950s. 

Marion’s version of events is being told in the 1990s, as she scribbles a confession to her husband.  Tom and Marion have been married for around 40 years at this point and presumably miserable for most of it. Patrick has had a stroke and is unable to talk, his narrative is told from an old diary and it perfectly fills in the gaps of Marion’s story. 

The book is also frustrating. There are plenty of times you’ll want to scream at Marion and plenty of uncomfortable moments with Patrick. But perhaps the most frustrating thing of all is Tom. The theme of silence is fitting in this story, and Tom has no voice. He is told through the eyes of his two lovers, and as a reader, you’ll have no way to find out what it is exactly about Tom that these two find so appealing, why they’ve both centred their whole lives around this man. 

Author Bethan Roberts has produced an intense and yet still tender novel wrapped in longing and frustration. She writes persuasively about her characters and produces a wonderful portrait of a time when lives were destroyed by intolerance. 

My Policeman movie 2021

The film adaptation of the 2021 novel is currently being shot in Brighton. Filming started in April 2021 and whilst there’s no official release date, a 2021 premiere via Amazon Studios is possible. 

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The My Policeman cast filming in Brighton

My Policeman cast

Harry Styles has been cast as Tom Burgess (the policeman at the centre of the story), Emma Corrin will play his wife Marion and David Dawson is playing Patrick. 

Linus Roache, Gina McKee and Rupert Everett will play Tom, Marion and Patrick respectively, in the 90s set.


‘My Policeman’ Movie: Everything  we know, release date, cast pictures and more

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