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 Fire, Burning Proof, and Catching Heat--the Pacific Coast Justice series--Accused, Abducted, and Avenged--and the Brinna Caruso novels, Critical Pursuit and Visible Threat.
TFx: Where did you come up with the idea for this book, and what can you tell us about the plot?
Cantore: I always come up with ideas by asking a lot of what-if questions. One day I heard the sad news that a lady who went to my church had been killed by her ex-husband, who had always been abusive. She never told the police about the abuse, and tragically, even though she had left him, he still found her and killed her. My what-ifs started: what if she’d been armed, what if she’d survived, and on and on.
Domestic violence is too prevalent in our society, and too many women take it, or believe that they can handle it. And too often, like with the lady who went to my church, things turn out the wrong way. Leah is a tough, competent woman who can’t admit that she is a victim. When the worst happens and she’s forced to defend herself against her abusive husband, her life is shattered in many ways. Breach of Honor is a story of horrific loss and God’s gentle redemption in the darkest of circumstances.
TFx: How did you choose the setting(s)?
Cantore: When I started the book, I was living in southern Oregon. I wanted a setting that had rural as well as urban aspects. My fictional department is roughly the size of Medford PD. Leah’s father lives in the very rural town of Trail, which is a real place. The city of Table Rock exists only in my imagination.
TFx: What inspired you to start writing novels based on your experience as a police officer?
Cantore: I’ve always loved mystery/suspense novels. A cop as the main character was always a plus. Joseph Wambaugh was kind of the gold standard for cop novels in the eighties, but as good as his books were, they were too hard-bitten and at points a bit depressing. I always liked the good guys winning, and I wanted the endings of my stories to uplift and not depress.
Reading Randy Alcorn’s Deadline showed me that the Christian message had a place in suspense fiction. As a Christian, I recognize the importance of faith in fact and fiction. Everyone struggles with something. In my novels there is always a faith journey, the end of which falls in line with what the Bible promises. It’s my way of getting faith messages out to people who might never pick up a Bible.
TFx: Breach of Honor delves into serious, complicated issues like domestic abuse, wrongful prison sentences, and the obstruction of justice. Can you share some of the real-life experience and research that went into crafting the plot of this novel?
Cantore: When I first started working as a police officer, domestic violence was a frustrating call to go on. In the late eighties and early nineties, if the abused party did not want to prosecute, there was nothing we could do. Sometimes, to try and defuse the issue, we would arrest the aggressor knowing they would be released the next day if the abused party dropped charges. A lot of women felt trapped; the man was often the breadwinner, and the woman knew that if he went to jail, she would be on the streets, so she put up with abuse. And if the man was the one being abused, there was shame involved; he would not admit being abused.
Thankfully, the law changed. Sometime in the midnineties it became possible for the state to be the victim. We could take the primary aggressor to jail whether the abused party wanted the person arrested or not. This took emotion out of it; the concern was making certain that the abuse stopped and the victim was protected. Shelters sprang up for victims, and more resources became available. There was also a lot more education available for first responders to help recognize all forms of abuse, to better equip them to help victims. In the past, women stayed in abusive relationships because they felt there was no way out. Now, there is a lot more help available for women to get out and for abusers to be prosecuted.
As far as people wrongfully convicted of crimes, estimates range from 2.3 percent to 6 percent of all convictions. There is no way to know for certain. The use of DNA has been a big help in that area. The sad fact is, when it is proven that someone was wrongfully convicted, it’s generally because of government misconduct. As far as Brad and Leah, their story was drawn by me just asking what-if questions over and over. Sadly, it’s plausible something like that could happen.
Cantore: My work in progress has a working title of Saving Grace. It’s the story of Danni Grace, an officer who is injured during a riot and struggles with the idea of working for a public that seemingly hates her. She is trained to help in emergencies and used to running toward danger instead of away from it. Would she really be happy leaving law enforcement for something else?
Get Janice's latest release, Breach of Honor out now on Amazon.
As a police officer in Table Rock, Oregon, Leah Radcliff puts her life on the line to help others every day. But at home, Leah’s battling her own personal nightmare: Brad, her abusive husband, a fellow officer, celebrated hero, and beloved son of a powerful prominent family.
Brad’s violent outbursts and suspicious activities have left Leah physically and emotionally scarred, until one desperate action to put a stop to his abuse results in deadly consequences.
Though public opinion seems ready to convict Leah, Officer Clint Tanner is one of the few to believe she acted in self-defense. As he works with Leah’s attorney to produce the evidence they need, new truths about Brad’s dark side come to light—and reveal a deep-rooted problem in Table Rock. There are some who have breached their sworn duty to serve and protect . . . and they’ll do anything to keep their secret safe.
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