Ellen offers insight into the stresses of being in law enforcement, and the rarely discussed, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, now associated with the job. While never condoning police brutality, the author is steadfast in her belief that, with very rare exception, people go into police work intent on helping others. The issues of PTSD, fear while on the job, and the recent instances of quick reaction and brutality intertwined into this novel, make its subject matter very timely. In law enforcement, hesitate or respond—either choice can spell disaster.
This book is the 2nd in the Dot Meyerhoff mystery; Burying Ben is the first novel.
Officer Randy Spelling had always wanted to be a police officer, to follow in the footsteps of her brothers and her father. Not long after joining the force, she mistakenly shoots and kills Lakeisha Gibbs, a pregnant teenager. The community is outraged; Lakeisha’s family is vocal and vicious in their attacks against Spelling. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and filled with remorse, Randy is desperate to apologize to the girl’s family. Everyone, including the police chief, warns her against this, but the young police officer will not be dissuaded. Her attempt is catastrophic. Dr. Dot Meyerhoff, the police psychologist, plunges herself into the investigation despite orders from the police chief to back off. Not only does the psychologist’s refusal to obey orders jeopardize her career, but her life as well, as she enlists unlikely allies and unconventional undercover work to expose the tangled net of Officer Spelling’s disastrous course.
What People Are Saying:
Small victories have been won for women in the male-dominated world of police work, but it is still primarily powered by men. The Right Wrong Thing is brilliantly written with this dynamic in mind. Those looking for a meaningful story forged against the backdrop of a relevant social construct will enjoy going on this adventure with Randy and Meyerhoff. Not only is this a compelling read, but it is profoundly realistic.
—ForeWord Reviews Magazine
“In Kirschman’s highly satisfying second novel featuring Dr. Dot Meyerhoff
(after 2013’s Burying Ben), the consulting psychologist endorses young Randy Spelling’s emotional stability for service as a Kenilworth, Calif., police officer. Dot later attempts to help Randy through the guilt-ridden aftermath of a panic episode that indirectly injured Randy’s partner, who blames Randy for cowardice. Intense professional and personal problems ensue for the divorced 50ish Dot after Randy, back on duty, fatally shoots Lakeisha Gibbs, a pregnant teenager who Randy mistakenly thinks is drawing a weapon. Kirschman, herself a psychologist who has served as a police department consultant, perceptively treats complex racial, feminist, personal, and political issues while providing intimate knowledge of cops’ shop procedure. She also skewers self-serving superficial “Christian-based psychology” and neatly balances Dot’s psychological expertise with her warmhearted humanity….”
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