Hah – I thought that title might get your attention! It’s not nearly as steamy as you might imagine: what I am curious about is what you are reading at the moment. Yesterday evening I went to a talk by Stella Rimington, ex-DG of MI5 or – as the red tops prefer it – the housewife super-spy. She was a very nice woman, who looked more like the archivist she originally was than anyone out of “Spooks”, and spoke very well. Someone asked her what she used to read to relax when she was the HSS, and she said, “Thrillers – particularly spy thrillers”. Talk about a busman’s holiday. She said that she did learn things from them, but more insights into human nature rather than how to do the spying stuff. She now writes spy thrillers herself, and is the first to admit that, human nature aside, they bear little relation to the reality of espionage.
All of this got me thinking, and I started to wonder whether all professionals actually prefer to read about their own subject. Does Igor Judge, Baron Judge (the UK’s most senior judge – the name is just to die for) have a Kindle stuffed with Rumpole? Is David Cameron working his way through the oeuvre of Michael Dobbs? (After all, we are told that Mrs Thatcher loved “Yes, Minister!”.) And do you, my lovely fellow AML addicts, seek out financial crime for your bedtime reading? Glancing at my own “to read” pile, I have the second half of “The Money Laundry” (I’ve already talked about this in an earlier post), “Financial Games for Training”, “Before the Bobbies: Police Reform in Metropolitan London, 1720-1830” and “Medea” (the ancient Greek tragedy – I belong to a rather odd book club). I know: I need to get out more. But what about you – do you read about laundering out of love as well as obligation?