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9.02.2017

Crisis Shot ~ Review with Author Q & A

Crisis Shot
Line of Duty #1
By Janice Cantore

Tess O'Rourke wants to be a good cop just like her father and grandfather were. And she dreams of becoming the first female chief of police with the Long Beach Police Department. But in a split second decision, her entire life comes crashing down around her.

Responding to an emergency call from a fellow officer in the early hours of the day Tess is forced to make a decision that costs a young man his life. And though she saved a fellow officer Tess found herself vilified by the local media and painted as an "incident waiting to happen". With Long Beach in turmoil and the lives of her fellow officers in danger with her proximity, Tess is faced with a choice - retire or seek police work somewhere else.

Not willing to quit Tess finds work in Rogue's Hollow, a small community in Oregon. But small town doesn't mean her job is easy. Resentment over her big city ties, being a woman, and her shooting incident all combine to make her new life a tad trying.

When a murder occurs and the local pastor's wife goes missing Tess has her hands full with small town politics and potential clues that just don't add up. There is more going on in Rogue's Hollow than meets the eye and Tess has to untangle all the loose threads to find which one leads to the truth. With the help of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and Deputy Steve Logan, Tess hopes to find Anna Macpherson in time and before she finds her job again on the line.

Crisis Shot is the first book in a new series by Janice Cantore and if this first book is any indication the Line of Duty series will be another winner. The characters are believable - some would love to get to know personally while others one would just as soon show them the door. Cantore has a way giving life to the written word that doesn't feel forced. And her books are from the headline stories that capture the reader's attention from page one. And I'll be honest I did not anticipate the identity of the perpetrator before the answer was revealed in the book - so high marks for keeping the suspense going throughout.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
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.

About the Author:
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 FireBurning Proof, and Catching Heat—the Pacific Coast Justice series—AccusedAbducted, 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.

Author Q and A:
1. What inspired you to begin your new series, The Line of Duty? 
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. 

2. 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 this novel? 
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. 

3. How did your personal experience as a police officer influence the story in Crisis Shot?
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. 

4. What role does faith play in the story? 
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.  

5. In the opening scene of Crisis Shot, Officer Tess O’Rourke is forced to shoot an unarmed teenager to protect a fellow officer. Many Americans have seen similar shooting incidents in their own communities or reported in the media. How do you hope your novel might inform your readers as they respond to these situations? 
The media often embellishes a police shooting to fit a narrative. For some reason the narrative has been that the officer is wrong, racist, trigger-happy . . . take your pick. And media sources perpetuate falsehoods to validate their narrative— for example, for two weeks we saw people on cable networks, sports teams, and talk shows do the “Hands up, don’t shoot” gesture after the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown, when that, in fact, wasn’t what happened before the shooting. For some reason the media kept pushing the idea that Brown was standing with his hands up and saying “Don’t shoot” when the officer fired, but eyewitnesses under oath said that never happened. All this did was inflame people, and the officer, who was exonerated for the shooting, lost his job. With Tess and her shooting, I want people to see that it is never as cut-and-dried as the media will try to spin it. Officers have split seconds to make life-or-death decisions. Hesitation gets cops killed. If nothing else, I hope Crisis Shot will help people realize that cops deserve to be considered innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. 

6. How can we support law enforcement working in our communities? 
A friendly wave as they go through the neighborhood, maybe a letter to the editor saying that you think they do a good job if that is the case. Let’s face it, no one likes getting a ticket, but that is one of the cops’ jobs, and if you did break a traffic law . . . sorry. 

7. What is the best advice or encouragement you have received either personally or professionally? 
I am encouraged every Sunday in church by my pastor. For the past few months he has been teaching through the book of Hebrews. The emphasis is faith, the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not yet seen. Holding tight to faith in God is the best advice/encouragement I’ve ever gotten.

8. What can your readers expect from The Line of Duty books two and three? 
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.