The Challenor Case. Mary Grigg. Penguin Books. 3s. 6d.
The excuse for Challenor was that he was insane. But if Challenor was mad, his was a Pythian madness. His frenzy showed the policeman’s preoccupations, his style, his modus operandi—more than that—Challenor turned the State Janus on its pedestal to show us the brutal side of the Force, the callous face of the Home Office, and the lined and seamy face of Mr Henry Brooke.
This book is an excellent report, but a single sentence is enough to show its limitations. ‘The work of police officers is to protect persons and property and to enforce the law—they are citizens employed by citizens, for the citizens.’ This is bien pensant hogwash. Whose property, whose person, which citizens? It was the accident of arresting a man of the wrong class which undid Challenor, not British justice, and even then there lay ahead that mirey, cloggy, Parliamentary and judicial road to free honest men from prison. M.R.