Crisis Shot – Janice Cantore – The Line of Duty #1 – Tyndale – Published 5 September 2017
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.
Crisis Shot is the first book in a new series by Janice Cantore. It is full of gripping suspense, and has a very real quality to the crime that hits home.
When Tess is involved with a police shooting, the fallout threatens to destroy the career she has worked so hard to build. Left with few options, she decides to leave Long Beach and apply for a position as Chief of Police in a small rural town in Oregon. In her first few weeks she faces much opposition, but she had the chance to prove herself when a man is murdered and the local pastor’s wife goes missing.
Crisis Shot begins with the very topical and somewhat controversial police shooting of a young boy. It brings to light this story from the officer’s perspective, in this case our main character Tess. So sad for the police offer, the young teenager and his family, and the wider community. Cantore makes it clear that, in this case, the officer was the in the right, but this certainly doesn’t prevent the outpouring of grief and blame, exaggerated by the media. This is certainly a topical theme and I found it very poignant. I read these sections with a critical eye and I was also a little dubious about the way this part of the storyline was concluded. I understand that it is what was needed for the story, but I thought it did make simple what is, I’m sure, far more complicated and less clear cut. I could imagine that the way this story handles the topic of police shootings and positions the reader might be distasteful to some people. However, this plot line is really just the motivator for Tess to move to a new area and the crimes she investigates as the new police chief are the focus of the story.
Tess is an intriguing character. She is strong and determined, but also compassionate. She has a long list of rules that govern her police work, something she learnt from her father. She wants to prove herself in her new role, perhaps even quiet her own doubts that have appeared since the shooting. The investigations are the focus of the story and I found them to be intriguing, with a nice balance between good detective work and high-tension action. I did find that it sometimes got a bit distracting with the detailed descriptions of town landmarks or history, stuff I really wasn’t interested in. However, the rest of the writing was captivating and the action was fast-paced.
There is just a hint of romance in this story. Tess is attracted to the deputy sheriff, but neither she nor the deputy, Steve Logan, make any moves. If the series continues to follow Tess, then I believe there will be plenty of opportunity for this romance to develop, along with Tess’s continuing questions about faith and God. Something to look forward to. Overall, Crisis Shot was an entertaining novel, with a strong focus on mystery and milder investigation.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian suspense.
Themes: Family, grief, death, tragedy, secrets, romance, children, marriage, relationships.
Published: 5 September 2017 by Tyndale House Publishers.
Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook. 432 pages.