“You experience the emotions, distractions, frustrations and successes of the characters in every chapter of In the Line of Duty. I found her heartfelt details to be spot on with a line-of-duty death. Being able to put such a tragic situation into words, is difficult in itself, but she does it with compassion, knowledge and respect for those in uniform who know what it is like to lose a brother or sister in blue.”
–Carl J. Harper, Training Officer, ERT (SWAT)
Sadly, as humans, we tend to judge that which we don’t understand. And let’s be honest, most of us haven’t stood in the shoes of a police officer. We’ve never faced an armed subject at one o’clock in the morning or had to make life-and-death decisions on a daily basis. We’ve never had to focus in a traumatic situation and make a significant judgment call. We’ve never had to face families and friends who have been left behind and tell them that their loved one won’t be coming home.
In general, people either point fingers at the police or put them up on pedestals. No one is perfect, however, and sometimes that pedestal cracks. Instead of doing either of these things, though, I think it’s most important that we respect our law enforcement officers and accept that they are human, just like the rest of us. They have families and friends. They have feelings. They have hopes and dreams.
In the Line of Duty was inspired by my love of law enforcement, for those who serve and who have served, but I also wanted to write a book that showed the human side of policing. I wanted to paint a vivid picture that shows that police are people and illustrate how the loss of a brother in blue affects them—not only on a professional level but more importantly, on a personal one.
The characters in my book must carry on after a great loss to find the person who killed their fellow officer. Their grief tears apart relationships, changes people’s viewpoints, and has them acknowledging their own mortality, just as it would anyone.
So the next time you see a police officer, remind yourself that police are people, too, and deserve the same compassion and kindness as you or me.
Listen to a sample from the audiobook of In the Line of Duty narrated by Hayley Palmaer:
He devoted his life to seeking justice. But would she get any for him?
It was an ordinary day for police officer Barry Weir. It was the end of shift, he was tired, and he just wanted to get home to his wife and kids. But someone had other plans for him, shooting him down and forcing him to make the ultimate sacrifice.
When news of Weir’s murder reaches the department, it leaves Detective Madison Knight and every cop in the Stiles PD itching for revenge. It cuts Madison’s boyfriend, colleague, and Weir’s childhood friend, Troy Matthews, deepest of all, driving him away from everyone he loves just when they need one another the most.
With evidence pointing to a gang-related drive-by, Madison and her team investigate the town’s seedy underbelly in search of justice for their fallen brother. But the deeper they dig, the more convoluted the case becomes. Now they need to figure out if this was a random shooting as part of a gang initiation, a straight-up hate crime, or a targeted kill. But with members of the Stiles PD under attack, they have to do it fast…before more officers pay with their lives.