Tess O’Rourke dreams of becoming the first female chief of police in Long Beach, California. As commander of the East Division, she is well on her way . . . until the night she responds to an officer-needs-assistance call and fatally shoots an unarmed teenager. Despite being cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury, Tess is so hounded by the public that she takes a job in Oregon to escape the bad press.
Winning over the residents of Rogue’s Hollow might be more difficult than adjusting to her new role as police chief in the small, backwater town. Especially when her closest friend, the pastor’s wife, goes missing and the woman’s cousin is found shot. Tess finds an ally in sheriff’s deputy Steve Logan, but as they track down Rogue’s Hollow’s first murderer, she worries that she’s breaking one of her rules and getting too close to him.
In the first book of her Line of Duty series, Janice Cantore explores a bit about the public’s shift in perception and attitude toward the men and women who protect us.
When Tess O’Rourke arrives on a crime scene and senses the danger one of her officers’ faces, she makes a choice. One that her fellow officers, and later a grand jury, agree with. But that doesn’t stop the public, and one particular blogger from protesting her actions. So much so that it will hinder Tess’s job.
She accepts a position as the police chief in a small Oregon town and is met with culture shock, cold shoulders, and the town’s first murder. Tess is a smart, no-nonsense police officer who makes it her goal to give her employees a fair shot and her investigations all of her attentions.
The romance in Crisis Shot is minimal, we get the hint of it but not much more (not even the POV of the potential love interest). However, Tess’s point of view isn’t the only one offered which helps to offer readers a fuller picture of what’s happening and letting them in on some of the town’s secrets without giving away the mystery of the murderer.
Cantore’s background in police work makes you feel like you are one of Tess’s police officers as they go through the investigation. It is paced well while introducing readers to the town of Rogue Hollow, the beauty of Oregon’s Rogue River Wilderness, and Tess herself. Crisis Shot is an excellent introduction to the series before we delve into more of Tess’s personal life in future books (at least that’s what I’m hoping for).
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
A former Long Beach, California, police officer of twenty-two years, Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments, including patrol, administration, juvenile investigations, and training. She’s always enjoyed writing and published two short articles on faith at work for Cop and Christ and Today’s Christian Woman before tackling novels. She now lives in a small town in southern Oregon, where she enjoys exploring the forests, rivers, and lakes with her Labrador retrievers, Abbie and Tilly.
Janice writes suspense novels designed to keep readers engrossed and leave them inspired. Crisis Shot is the first title in her latest series. Janice also authored the Cold Case Justice series—Drawing Fire, Burning Proof, and Catching Heat—the Pacific Coast Justice series—Accused, Abducted, and Avenged—and the Brinna Caruso novels, Critical Pursuit and Visible Threat.
Visit Janice’s website at www.janicecantore.com and connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JaniceCantore.
Q: What inspired you to begin your new series, The Line of Duty?
A: My initial desire was to place a crime novel in a small-town setting. Since I now
live in a small town, a lot of factors intrigued me about the setting. Everyone
seems to know everyone else here, much more than in Long Beach. There really
is a sense of community. Here, arrests are still printed in the local newspaper
and everyone seems to know the troublemakers and the misfits. Also, people
here seem more likely to help their neighbors. There is more of a permanent
atmosphere in town, not a transient one.
As far as Tess O’Rourke is concerned, she popped up out of all the negative
news that police officers seem to be getting nowadays. I very much wanted to tell
the other side of the story in regards to controversial shootings, kind of behind
the sensational headlines. The media too often twists the facts.
Q: How do you expect book one, Crisis Shot, to resonate with your audience?
What are you most excited for your readers to experience through reading
A: First, I hope they realize that police officers are human beings, and it is not fair,
after a shooting or controversial arrest, to ascribe motives to them before all the
facts are in. “Innocent until proven guilty” applies to cops as well as criminals.
And then I hope readers experience and appreciate the struggle for Tess to get
back to work at the job she loves, trying to prove herself all over again to a group
of cops who might think she’s not up to the job.
Q: How did your personal experience as a police officer influence the story in
A: When I worked in uniform, I learned quickly how fast things happen, and how
distorted they get when interpreted by people who have no idea what it’s like to
work in uniform in hostile areas, or walk up to a car on a dark night, or rush to a
shots call where no one can really say what’s going on.
Q: What role does faith play in the story?
A: Tess will tell you that she lost her faith. Her father was killed in the line of duty,
and Tess feels betrayed by God. Oliver is a pastor and in a similar situation as
Tess, but he leans into his faith, not away from it.
Bottom line, God is still God no matter the valleys we travel through, and while
faith is essential, it is not a shield against pain and heartbreak in this world.
Q: What can your readers expect from The Line of Duty books two and three?
A: Well, of course, Tess will get into trouble and scrapes and work her way out with
smarts and toughness—and the help of her supporting cast.
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