Book Tour & Review: In the Line of Duty

Print Length: 291 pages
Publisher: Hibbert & Styles (September 29, 2016)
Author: Carolyn Arnold
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural
Tour Organized by: GoddessFish

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own. 

Book Blurb :  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 precinct, 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 the Stiles PD under attack, they have to do it fast…before more officers pay with their lives.

Book Excerpt:
 Was he hit with the first round?” a detective from Gangs asked. Madison was drawing a blank on his name right now.
“Too early to say.” Winston looked at the detective who had asked the question, who sat with other members of the gangs unit, and he also glanced at members from Guns & Drugs. He spoke to both units when he said, “I want you to reach out to your informants—see if we can find out who’s behind the shooting. If this was the work of a gang, someone out there is bragging about it.”
The thought cinched Madison’s gut tighter. Bragging about taking a life… Awful…
“Members of SWAT, you’ll also be serving in an investigative capacity, unless you are called in for SWAT services. I want you reviewing all of Weir’s reports from his final shift to see if the shooting could tie into anything there. Be sure to review his notepad for what might not have made it into the laptop in his black-and-white. If you haven’t found anything of interest there, go further back with an eye for people who might have gang affiliations or a strong reason to target Weir.”
Troy nodded and so did the other men from his team.
“Officers are already canvassing the area, knocking on residential doors,” Winston went on. “Knight and Grant, I want you speaking to the eyewitness from Rico’s and talking to the manager at the Bean Counter across the street. Stanford and Sovereign will take the managers from the other two businesses at that intersection. Officers are already in position to talk to their customers from the time of the shooting, and a tip line will be set up and an appeal made through the media for anyone else who might have seen something.”
Winston had so much to relay he hardly had time to come up for air. “Also, as you likely know, it is proper etiquette to wear a black mourning band when an officer dies.” He paused as his gaze traced the room, stopping briefly on those who were already wearing them. He bobbed his head in Madison’s direction when he noticed hers, Terry’s, and Troy’s. “If you don’t have one, come up here and get one before you leave this room.”
He paused a few seconds, his jaw clenched as if fighting back emotion. He cleared his throat. “We’ve seen this sort of violence going on all around us—police officers shot down in the line of duty, lured out and assaulted, not to mention the rampant disrespect and seeming random acts of violence. Now it’s touched our city. But we will not hide from it.” Winston’s voice echoed through the room, his timbre deep and steadfast, and growing more confident. The energy of the officers began to ramp up, and a tempest was brewing inside Madison. “We will not shrink away in fear. We’ll rise up—higher than before—and we’ll fight back. We’ll claim our city and make it clear that any level of disrespect or violence against an officer of the law carries the heaviest penalty. We run toward the gunfire, not away. We stand united and unmovable. We become their worst nightmare!”
Everyone applauded, including Madison. Not only was Winston’s speech getting her geared up to take down Barry’s killer, but hearing her boss speak like that shed a new light on his character. Maybe he wasn’t as bad as he sometimes seemed… And they really were in the search for justice together, even though at times it felt like they played for different sides. He had an old-school mentality that led to the belief that the best cops were men. She was practically a women’s libber in his eyes.
Winston wasn’t done yet, though. “Our first priority right now is finding out who killed Officer Weir, and all overtime to that end is approved.” He cleared his throat again. “On another note, a memo is going out to all officers—even civilians working for us in administrative roles—that, effective immediately, everyone must ensure that any evidence of working with the Stiles PD is removed from any personal belongings. Strip anything and everything that will tie you to the Stiles PD during off-hours. Don’t wear logoed shirts or pants when you take your morning jog. Don’t leave printed gym bags in your car. Take down your parking pass for the station lot from your rearview mirrors. We will also wear our vests whenever we are on shift. This is not a response of fear, but one of power, one of precaution. Until we know exactly what prompted the shooting this morning, we treat this situation as if we are at war.”
Madison’s heart was beating fast, renewed with fiery zeal. A war had started. Only it wasn’t nation against nation. It was on American soil being waged among Americans. It was the red-blooded against the blue-blooded.

   In the Line of Duty is available from Amazon, Barnes & NobleKobo or ITunes 


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

WOW. That was my first thought upon finishing this story. This was a superbly done mystery/police procedural that managed to perfectly blend action with suspense and "dead end" leads. The author also managed to tread that careful line between accurately portraying grief and loss (especially due to a line of duty death), while managing NOT to make the story depressing. 

I enjoyed these characters, the drama and tension that they brought to the story, while maintaining the camaraderie of people who work closely together each day. I also enjoyed the way the author was able to bring to life the steps and stages of an active investigation. This story was not one of those "cut and dry" stories where the culprits are easy to figure out. In fact - this one kept me guessing right up until the very end! I was also more that surprised at how the end of this story played out.   

Even though this is billed as "Madison Knight #7", please do NOT let that discourage you from reading! I have not read any prior novels in this series, and I had no trouble at all following along. It would seem that the only thing this story has in common with the other ones is the cast of main characters. 

Overall, I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a well-written police procedural that is full of surprises! This might have been the first story in this series (and by this author) that I have read, but it will certainly NOT be the last! 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.



Carolyn will be awarding a Paperback of Deadly Impulse US, Canada and UK Only ($25.00 USD PayPal International) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:
 Carolyn Arnold is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

You can learn more about this author by visiting her websiteFacebook or Twitter

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  1. What a wonderful review! I'm happy that you enjoyed IN THE LINE OF DUTY.

  2. Great review, I'm looking forward to reading this one myself :)