The cover of Prisoner by Ross Greenwood

Prisoner by Ross Greenwood follows the life of a prison officer at HMP Peterborough.

Thank you to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources and Boldwood Books for organising this book tour and giving me an Advanced Review Copy of Prisoner in return for an honest review.

Jim Dalton is a prison officer at HMP Peterborough, the only purpose-built British prison to accommodate both sexes. Jim is well-respected, having worked at the prison for five years. When his son-in-law is sent to prison, he is moved over to the women’s side. From there, things start to go downhill as he begins to get attached to one of the female prisoners.

You can buy Prisoner on Amazon in eBook, paperback and audiobook formats, and it’s available to read through Kindle Unlimited.

My review

I have read several of Ross Greenwood’s books and really enjoyed them, so when I was offered a copy of Prisoner to review I was really excited to read it!

Ross Greenwood has previously worked as a prison officer, and that was clear from the outset. There’s lots of detail throughout the book about prison life, which I found fascinating. The comparisons between the male and female sides of the prison were also really interesting — each side has its dangers, but both feel very different, and this is the main struggle of our main character, Jim Dalton.

Jim and his wife Abi are struggling to keep afloat financially as well as to find time for each other. They have two young children, and they are tired, spending little time together. I really enjoyed these sections of the book as they felt like very relatable struggles that many people experience during a long-term relationship.

While this is described as a thriller, I found this to be a bit of a slower burn — it was only about half-way through the book that the story begins to get going. There is quite a lot of detail in parts about prison life and the stories of the prisoners. Each story is well-written, and I felt a lot of sympathy for the prisoners — especially on the female side.

It was easy to see how Jim got sucked into their stories. But I was shouting at the book many times throughout the story as things get worse and worse, and he becomes less professional. It was really shocking to me to see how someone who was so good at their job could mess up so much!

The blurb for Prisoner

Behind bars, the rules are different…

Prison Officer Jim Dalton is used to walking the landings on the male side of HMP Peterborough. It’s a dangerous place, fuelled by testosterone-driven violence, but he’s done the job for a long time. He understands the unwritten rules, and he has the prisoners’ respect.

When a relative is sent to the jail, Dalton is transferred to the female side of the prison. His next shift is so easy, he can’t believe that the officers over there get paid the same wages. He sleeps well for the first time in years.

But when he is assigned to the young offenders’ wing, dealing with female prisoners no longer seems so simple.  As every day passes, and he gets to know the women better, he is slowly drawn in to new temptations, new traps and a new nightmare. One which could destroy everything.

Taking a break from his bestselling DI Barton series, Ross Greenwood returns with this shocking, page-turning and utterly compelling glimpse behind the bars of a women’s prison. From a man who walked the landings himself…

Ross Greenwood, the author of The Ice KillerAbout the author, Ross Greenwood

Ross Greenwood is the author of six crime thrillers. Before becoming a full-time writer he was most recently a prison officer and so worked everyday with murderers, rapists and thieves for four years. He lives in Peterborough and his first title for Boldwood – the beginning of a series – The Snow Killer was published in November 2019.

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You can buy Prisoner on Amazon in eBook, paperback and audiobook formats, and it’s available to read through Kindle Unlimited.