Critical Pursuit

( 10 )

Overview

Officer Brinna Caruso has built a reputation at the precinct as the cop to call when a child goes missing. For Brinna, it?s personal because she was once one of them. Brinna and her K-9 search and rescue dog, Hero, will stop at nothing to find a missing child, no matter the stakes.

Detective Jack O?Reilly isn?t ready to return to his homicide duties after losing his wife to a drunk driver. He?s on the downside of his career, and bent on revenge, when he?s assigned as Brinna?s ...

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Critical Pursuit (Critical Pursuit Series #1)

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Overview

Officer Brinna Caruso has built a reputation at the precinct as the cop to call when a child goes missing. For Brinna, it’s personal because she was once one of them. Brinna and her K-9 search and rescue dog, Hero, will stop at nothing to find a missing child, no matter the stakes.

Detective Jack O’Reilly isn’t ready to return to his homicide duties after losing his wife to a drunk driver. He’s on the downside of his career, and bent on revenge, when he’s assigned as Brinna’s partner. While on patrol, Jack struggles between his quest for personal justice and his responsibility to those around him, especially his partner.

Skeptical of Jack’s motives, Brinna isn’t sure she can rely on her new partner, whose reckless abandon endangers those around him. But when a man surfaces with an MO similar to the criminal who abducted Brinna twenty years earlier, Brinna and Jack must cast aside previous judgments and combine efforts to catch the kidnapper and finally allow Brinna the peace stolen from her as a child. Tyndale House Publishers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781414375533
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2013
  • Series: Critical Pursuit Series , #1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 297,606
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Read an Excerpt

CRITICAL PURSUIT


By Janice Cantore

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Janice Cantore
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-7553-3



CHAPTER 1

Seventy-four percent of abducted children who are murdered are dead within three hours of the abduction.

The grim statistic rumbled around in K-9 Officer Brinna Caruso's brain like a hand grenade without the pin. There was no evidence that six-year-old Josh Daniels had been abducted, yet the statistic taunted her.

Brinna and her K-9, Hero, a four-year-old Labrador retriever, were part of a team of officers fanned out across El Dorado Park, the largest city park in Long Beach, California, searching for Josh. He'd disappeared from an afternoon family picnic two and a half hours ago.

The huge park successfully created the illusion of wilderness, dense in some places, open in others. There were a thousand places to hide—or be hidden. Brinna normally loved the park, the smell of pine trees and nature, the illusion of pristine innocence and safety. Today all she could think about was how quickly innocence could be lost or, worse, stolen.

Hero trotted ahead on a well-beaten path, panting in the summer heat. Brinna and Officer Maggie Sloan followed a few feet behind. Maggie had left her partner back at the picnic site with the boy's family.

"You are so intense it's scary," Maggie said.

"What?" Brinna glanced from Hero to Maggie, who regarded her with a bemused expression. She wasn't just another officer; she was Brinna's confidante and best friend on the force.

"I'm just keeping an eye on my dog," Brinna explained, wiping her forehead with the back of her hand. "He's definitely following a scent."

"That's good news, isn't it?" Maggie asked. "It means we should find the boy. Why the frown?"

Brinna shrugged. "I want to find a boy and not a body."

"Harrumph." Maggie waved a hand dismissively. "There's no indication Josh was snatched. The best guess is he got lost playing hide-and-seek. El Dorado is to parks what Disneyland is to carnivals. He could be anywhere. You always imagine the worst where kids are concerned."

Brinna gritted her teeth. "Because you know as well as I do, if a kid is abducted, the chances are overwhelming that they will be a victim of murder."

Jaw set, Brinna returned her full attention to the dog. She'd had this conversation before, with Maggie and others, almost every time a child went missing. The guys on her team liked to say that since Brinna didn't believe there was a God watching out for kids, she'd given herself the job.

"The operative word is if. You're such a glass-is-half-empty person." Maggie slapped Brinna's shoulder with the back of her hand. "What about the ones found alive? Elizabeth Smart, Shawn Hornbeck, Brinna Caruso?"

"For every three of us rescued, there're nine who die," Brinna shot back. "You know my goal is 100 percent saved."

Maggie snorted in exasperation. "All the time you spend riding rail on registered sex offenders and monitoring any missing kid case flagged suspicious." She shook her head and wagged an index finger. "You can't save them all."

Brinna said nothing, hating that truth. Hero came to a stop, and like dominoes, so did Brinna and then Maggie.

"Maybe I can't save them all," Brinna conceded to Maggie. "But it certainly won't be for a lack of trying."

Maggie followed Brinna's gaze to Hero, then turned back to her friend and smiled. "You sure earn your nickname, Kid Crusader."

Brinna watched the dog. His nose up, testing the air, Hero trotted off in a more determined fashion than before. When he caught a scent, the hackles on the back of his neck rose ever so slightly. Brinna felt her own neck tingle as if there were a sympathetic connection between her and the dog.

"He's got something stronger." She stepped up her pace after Hero, Maggie on her heels.

They jogged to the left, into an area thick with tall pines and full oaks. After about a hundred feet, Hero barked and sat, turning toward Brinna. It was his practiced alert signal. Brinna's heart caught in her throat. If her dog had just found Josh, the boy wasn't moving; in fact, he wasn't even standing.

She followed the dog's gaze to a pile of leaves and held her breath.

When she heard muffled sniffling coming from the leaves, Brinna exhaled, rolling her eyes in relief. Then she saw the toe of a small tennis shoe sticking out. The boy was hiding. Turning to Maggie, she pointed at the shoe. Maggie smiled.

Brinna spoke to the quivering mass. "Josh, Josh Daniels. It's the police. Is that you?"

A half sob and an intake of breath emanated from the pile. The leaves moved, and a dirty-faced blond boy peered out at her.

"The po-police?" He cast an eye toward Hero. "That's not a coyote coming to eat me?"

Kneeling, Brinna bit back a chuckle. The boy's fear was plausible. He'd wandered into a particularly dense section of the park. The only things absent were dangerous animals. She understood a lost boy's imagination getting the best of him.

"Nope, it's my dog, Hero. Hero is a police dog. He doesn't eat little boys. He helped me find you."

Josh sat up and the leaves fell away, revealing a little boy smudged with sweat, soil, and grime. He sniffled. "I was playing and I got lost. I called and called, but my mom didn't come. Then I heard noises. I was afraid of wild animals, so I hid."

"Well, your mom and dad sent us to find you," Maggie said. "Are you ready to go home?"

Josh nodded vigorously and stood, brushing off dirt and leaves as he did so. "Can I pet your dog?" he asked Brinna, the tears already drying.

"Sure," Brinna said as she stood, ignoring the triumphant smirk Maggie shot her. Brinna pulled out her handheld radio and notified the command post that the situation was code 4, all over and resolved. "We're on our way out."

Brinna smiled as she took the boy's hand. "Do you like Beanie Babies, Josh?"

He looked up at her and nodded.

"I've got one for you in the car," she said with a smile as the statistic tumbling around in her mind disappeared in a poof, like a dud.


* * *

"Officer Caruso, Officer Caruso!"

Brinna groaned. Tracy Michaels, the local police beat reporter, was hailing her. Brinna had almost made it to her car avoiding all contact with the press. She wished Maggie were still with her. Maggie always knew how to talk to the press. But Maggie was with her partner, seeing to the happy family reunion.

"Officer Caruso! I have the okay for an interview."

Brinna stopped at her K-9 unit, a black-and-white Ford Explorer, and turned, counting to ten so she didn't say anything she'd regret. Reporters only wanted bad news. They thrived on tragedy. She faced Michaels, a young, eager woman who approached with a pad and pen in her right hand.

"Tracy, we found the kid in a pile of leaves, alive and unmolested—not much excitement in that story."

The reporter shook her head. "I don't want to talk about Josh Daniels. I want to talk about your upcoming anniversary."

"My anniversary?" Brinna frowned.

"Don't tell me you don't mark the day in some special fashion," Tracy said, hands on her hips. "Next week, it will be twenty years to the day that you were rescued after being abducted."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from CRITICAL PURSUIT by Janice Cantore. Copyright © 2013 Janice Cantore. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 15, 2013

    Critical Pursuit by Janice Cantore is a great book with a lot of

    Critical Pursuit by Janice Cantore is a great book with a lot of suspense woven into the story. The main character is Brinna Caruso, the one person in the police department to call when a child is kidnapped. When Brinna was six she was kidnapped but fortunately she was found and now that she is a police officer, she and her K-9 search dog will let nothing stop them from searching for missing children no matter what the cost. Jack O’Reilly lost his wife a year ago when her car was hit by a drunk driver. Jack worked in homicide but he is no longer in the department due to his state of mind and his overwhelming desire for revenge against the drunk driver. Jack is assigned to be Brinna’s partner on patrol duty and this causes some tense moments between the two. Brinna is not sure that she can depend on Jack if trouble arises and he is not sure that he can hold up his end of the partnership. A man who fits the description of the man who kidnapped Brinna surfaces and this greatly adds to her problems for she is determined to capture the man and see that he receives the justice he deserves.




    Janice Cantore is a retired Long Beach, California, police officer and is well qualified to write a great story that keeps one sitting on the edge of their chair or chewing on their fingernails. I really like the way that the author developed the characters to let the reader know exactly what they were thinking and feeling. Each character was so well developed that they became real people. Due to her career in police work, the dialogue rings true and is interesting to read. Her description of the action scenes was so real that I was right there in the middle of what was happening. The story is filled with lots of suspense that kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. At the beginning of the book, Brinna and Jack are both fighting against God and His love and are unwilling to forgive others, but as the story develops, their hearts start to soften. I especially like that the author wrote a true to life police novel and did so without using profanity or vulgarity. In spite of all the terrible things that happen in the story, it does have a happy ending.




    The following links are provided for readers interested in more information about this book and the author. If you would like to read the first chapter it is available as a PDF. Other items that may be of interest are the author’s photo, Janice Cantore’s website, Janice Cantore on Facebook, and you can visit Janice on her blog.




    I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes a great police story that contains a lot of suspense and has a good ending.




    Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2014

    Loved it

    Crisp writing style...loved the story and characters. A book you can get lost in. Story line didn't drag on, which I greatly appreciated. Will read more from this author. CherishD

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2013

    Critical Pursuit is a fantastic book! Of course, I'm a fan of su

    Critical Pursuit is a fantastic book! Of course, I'm a fan of suspense novels and have enjoyed Janice Cantore's previous books, but this one was my favorite so far! The book is a bit grittier than her previous books (but nothing over the top). I was totally caught up in the police drama, and all of the personal drama just added to my enjoyment of the book.

    Cantore found the perfect balance for Brinna's character. She was so anti-God and obsessed with her work (which sometimes makes a character easy to dislike). However, she was so personable that I found myself rooting for her early on. Jack was similar. I felt his raw emotions and couldn't help but want the best for him ... even if he was a little "off" at times.

    If you enjoy police dramas, I think you'll love Critical Pursuit! [4.5 stars]

    * Note: This book was previously published as The Kevlar Heart.

    I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House in exchange for my fair and honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2013

    Jack and Brinna are both hurting, anxious people. Brinna was abd

    Jack and Brinna are both hurting, anxious people. Brinna was abducted and left for dead as a child and is out to recover as many lost children as possible and stop pedophiles in their tracks. It's a mission for her, in fact pretty much her whole life. Jack lost his wife a year ago, and is filled with hate for the perpetrator and wants revenge. The court date is coming up, but will justice be enough to help him let go and live in the present?




    This is the first of a series so not everything is wrapped up neat and tidy. It's also not an easy book to read, with the subject matter being chasing down pedophiles and wanting revenge on the man who murdered your wife, but it's well written, and Janice Cantore knows what she's talking about when it comes to writing about police work as she was a police officer for 22 years. This experience and in depth knowledge really comes through in the story.




    I generally prefer a series where each book is a separate story of its own, but I will definitely read the next book in this series. 




    I received this book from Tyndale House for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own. Thank you Tyndale House.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Janice Cantore in her new book, ¿Critical Pursuit¿ Book One in t

    Janice Cantore in her new book, “Critical Pursuit” Book One in the Brinna Caruso series published by Tyndale House Publishers introduces us to Officer Brinna Caruso




    From the Back Cover:  Officer Brinna Caruso has built a reputation at the precinct as the cop to call when a child goes missing. For Brinna, it’s personal because she was once one of them. Brinna and her K-9 search and rescue dog, Hero, will stop at nothing to find a missing child, no matter the stakes.




    Detective Jack O’Reilly isn’t ready to return to his homicide duties, after losing his wife to a drunk driver. He’s on the downside of his career, and bent on revenge, when he’s assigned as Brinna’s partner. While on patrol, Jack struggles between his quest for personal justice and his responsibility to those around him, especially his partner.




    Skeptical of Jack’s motives, Brinna isn’t sure she can rely on her new partner, whose reckless abandon endangers the safety of those around him. But when a man surfaces with an MO similar to the criminal who abducted Brinna twenty years earlier, Brinna and Jack must cast aside previous judgments and combine efforts to catch the kidnapper, and finally allow Brinna the peace stolen from her as a child.




    For me if someone is abducted or kidnapped then they desperately need a hero to come and rescue them.  Welcome Brinna Caruso and her K-9 search and rescue dog, Hero.  These two will stop at nothing to find a missing child, Brinna has a personal fire-she was abducted as a child.  Jack O’Reilly is Brinna’s new human partner and they have quite a few issues to iron out before they can really operate as a team.  However they are going to have to do the ironing quickly because there is a possibility that the person who abducted Brinna is back and she has a score to settle.  ”Critical Pursuit” is how you define exciting!  Ms. Cantore is a retired Long Beach California police officer of 22 years.  She did what she now makes Brinna do and her experience shines through the pages.  ”Critical Pursuit” is a thriller with all kinds of excitement and danger.  Janice Cantore knows how to weave a captivating story with wonderful characters that breathe.  I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the next book in this exciting series from Ms. Cantore.




    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is the first book in a new series by Janice Cantore.  It lo

    This is the first book in a new series by Janice Cantore.  It looks as if this was originally published several years ago by a different
     publishing house, but it now being republished by Tyndale Publishing.  


    Brinna Caruso has a personal connection to wanting to protect all of the missing and abducted kids, she used to be one herself.  As a
     young girl, Brinna was abducted and left to die but was miraculously found before she could face certain death.  As the years went by,
     Brinna kept in touch with the detective that found her and he became a mentor to her.  Now as a police woman handling a search and
     rescue dog, she has made it her mission in life to find abducted and missing children and to find those accused of doing it.  Jack O'Reilly
     has lost all drive since he lost his wife.  He's taken a step back into patrol from being a detective just to see if there's anything left in him.
     Not only has he lost his motivation at work, he's also turned his back on God and anything to do with religion.  The two of them are paired
     together and begin to bond over the job, the burnout and their dislike of religion.  As the days continue, Brinna's father's health takes a turn
     for the worse and a set of twin girls are kidnapped.  Will her father's health improve?  Can they find the girls before something terrible
     happens?  Who's sending the personal notes to Brinna? Will they ever find a pathway to God?  Some great reading will be in store, when
     you get up and go BUY THE BOOK!


    Every since Janice Cantore burst onto the Christian Fiction scene last year with her first book in the Pacific Coast Justice Series, Accused,
     I have eagerly awaiting each new book.  Sometimes, I think, it's hard for people with a certain background to impart onto others exactly
     what it feels like to do their job.  It's hard to portray with an accuracy the ups and downs of a profession without coming across as "talking
     over my head".  It's a good thing that Janice Cantore isn't the same way.  Even with all of her training and background in police work, she
     is still able to explain the police procedures in terms that even a simple layman like myself can understand.  I became so involved with
     Brinna and Jack, not only in their daily patrol, but also as they began to questions each other about their lack of interest in religious and
    a heavenly father.  


    Is this a guy's book?  There are plenty of police procedures, car chases, search and rescue, etc. to keep any guy entertained.  I would
     definitely rate this as a new series that I will be waiting for each additional book to be published.


    I received this book from the Publisher, Tyndale Publishing, in exchange for my honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Loved it

    I would definitely go after another book from this author. This was a well told story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2014

    R

    Really great characters and story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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