Book Review: Crisis Shot

21 Nov

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.

Janice Cantore, in her own words:

I was born and raised in Southern California. I always wanted to write but never felt I had anything much to say. In college I majored in biological science, then physical education, and when I found myself a college grad with two degrees and no idea what todo with my life, I applied to be a police officer. The choice was not as random as it sounds. I have always liked helping people, especially people who are victims of unfairness or injustice. Nothing makes my blood boil more than people victimizing or taking advantage of the innocent. Most police work is arriving on scene after a crime or an accident as first responder. That first contact with a victim is an important place to be compassionate and caring while at the same time collecting the most information possible in order to solve the crime/arrest a suspect. And I loved the part where we got to arrest the bad guys!!

Long Beach California is a diverse city and a great place to work. My years there and the people I worked with hold a special place in my heart. After I retired I realized that I had lots to say and lots to write about and that began my writing career. During my time with LBPD I saw good, bad, tragic, and inspiring situations. One lesson that has stayed with me is that bad can happen to anyone. Yet emerging from the bad can also make people stronger and better. We serve a good God who is able to guide us through any tragedy or loss. I hope my stories inspire you as much as they entice you to turn the page and find out what happens next.


My Impressions:

My book club loves suspense. If I didn’t force, bully, encourage them to read other genres, I think that is all they would choose. And with that focus, we come close to running out of authors to read as well. Well, I hit a home run when I suggested Crisis Shot by Janice Cantore. This novel by a new-to-us author had everything we love getting it a unanimous thumbs up from my group.

The story arc of small town police chief tackles hostile attitudes and big city crime is set up when main character, Tess O’Rourke is forced from the police force and city she loves by bad press from an officer involved shooting. Tess moves to Rogue’s Hollow, Oregon to take over the job of police chief and to try to begin again, but longing for home and doubts of her own combine to make her rethink her new job. But then the action starts, and Tess is determined to gain the trust of the town while solving violent and mysterious crimes.

Characterization is strong in Crisis Shot. We all loved main characters Tess and Oliver, the pastor of the local church. The two are good foils for each other — one a logical, independent thinker, the other a man of deep faith. Both are challenged by the circumstances they face. The book is fast-paced, and the reader is given glimpses of the bad guy(s) before the characters, but the mystery is not easily solved by either, keeping both on their toes. There is only a hint of romance for Tess — something we really liked. It seemed much more natural than books where the crime-solving sleuths spend as much time gazing in each other’s eyes as solving a case. 😉 Crisis Shot explores the theme of a good and just God in the midst of unfair and evil circumstances. It also provides the realistic struggles of one maintaining faith within the fire. The promise of a future romance, some unresolved spiritual questions for Tess, and a town that is sure to harbor more criminals makes this series one we want to continue. In fact, book 2, Lethal Target is on our selection list for early 2020.


Audience: adults.

(I purchased Crisis Shot from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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