The Intuitive Detective by Stacey Webb

Suzie Eisfelder

This is another of my stash from the Book Fair Australia. I bought it because it seemed interesting, and it occurred to me I’m very intuitive when I buy my books. I don’t put too much thought into if the plot sounds good or if the characters excite me. I do put some thought into whether there’s romance. I don’t open the book and check out a few paragraphs, partly because that’s tantamount to losing track of time. When I have a chance to talk to the author their reaction seems to form part of my thinking.

Webb is a detective. And speaking to her I felt I wanted to read her book. What I wanted from this book was to find out what life was about as a detective. Did I get that? Yes and no.

Being in any of the frontline services is a challenge. You have to be tough to get through, and you have to learn how to accommodate any of the mental health problems you might encounter. The example I’m giving from my life is the hardest funeral I’ve been to. I have friends or family in every age group. I’ve been to many funerals, the easiest was my cousin who died at the age of 103, she started getting a little dementia at 100. Everyone was very laid back, while there were tears, they were gentle tears because Linda had lived a good, long life. The hardest was a 15 month old cousin. Everyone was in shock, the mother was distraught. It took some time to believe that she was gone. Funerals normally help with this, but not this funeral. Webb has had to be the first responder for far too many times where a child had died. And she’s had to learn how to be resilient with this. How to help the parents to cope, sometimes just giving them time to grieve before asking questions. And then how to give herself space to breathe and then continue on with the investigation.

This book talks us through some of the problems the police can face. Not just wading into someone else’s problem and sorting it out, not just running into the face of danger, but the mental health challenges that can occur because you’re a first responder. I read about the same thing when I read Code Blue: Prison Officer in Danger by Bruce Perham. The mental health challenges are enormous and you often don’t get the emotional support from your superiors. Generally, you’re expected to toughen up and move on. But it’s hard to move on when you’re really close to a breakdown.

What Webb does is she explores with us the idea that we can find ways to deal with the emotional problems inherent in first responder jobs. Some of the things she chose are meditations, EFT tapping and mindfulness. But she also leaned into her intuition. When that called she listened to see what the problem was. Sometimes she needed to drive a certain route and then found she was really close to a police problem, other times her intuition made her stop questioning and just give the victim time to breathe and cry. And other times her intuition lead her to change the path of her career, or even to start writing all of this down.

Way up at the top of my words I said ‘yes and no’. You’ve got most of the ‘yes’, now to the ‘no’.

When I bought this book I wanted more of the policing, I wanted to find out more about the challenges that the police face on a daily basis. What I got was the growth and metamorphosis of one of their workers. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, especially as the growth was pretty amazing to read about. It’s just not what I expected.

This book is composed of mini essays detailing one small part of the author’s life and metamorphosis. They’re short enough that you can spend a few minutes during your busy day, before putting down the book to give yourself time to reflect on what Webb is saying. I didn’t do that, but I rarely read books the way they should be read. Out of all the messages I could give you from this book the one that resonated the most is given by her mother.

Here they are, Webb is in dance class and her mother has made the crop top and tight pants which exposed her stomach. The teacher said “Stace needs to wear fake tan when wearing this costume.” Apparently her stomach area needed fixing. Webb’s mother snapped back “Nothing needs to be fixed there, Stace is perfect just the way she is.” The teacher’s attitude is exactly what can help lead to anorexia or bulimia, but the mother was very fast to step in and to later advise Webb that “being the same as everyone else is boring.” It’s exactly the advice every person should be given to help ensure they grow up to be themselves and not a carbon copy of someone with different genes, or a carbon copy of a body that’s been photoshopped. I feel I needed to buy this book in order to get this message, if nothing else. I did say I buy books intuitively.

If you’d like to look at the book and potentially buy it, here’s a link. It’s well worth it.

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