Snitch

( 6 )

Overview

Convinced he has a greater chance to die–of boredom–at his desk job than he ever faced in narcotics, Las Vegas police sergeant Ron Yeager agrees to slip off the retirement track long enough to head up an undercover task force designed to combat the recent surge in auto thefts.
 
Then he meets his inexperienced team of officers, most of whom seem completely incapable of infiltrating the seamy underbelly of Sin City. In particular, Mackenzie...
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Snitch

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Overview

Convinced he has a greater chance to die–of boredom–at his desk job than he ever faced in narcotics, Las Vegas police sergeant Ron Yeager agrees to slip off the retirement track long enough to head up an undercover task force designed to combat the recent surge in auto thefts.
 
Then he meets his inexperienced team of officers, most of whom seem completely incapable of infiltrating the seamy underbelly of Sin City. In particular, Mackenzie “Mack” Hazard’s determination to wear her faith like a badge threatens to send Yeager’s blood pressure skyrocketing. And then there’s maverick Jesse Lunden, who thinks he’s learned all he needs to know in his three years of undercover work.
 
As Yeager gambles his reputation on transforming this group of egos and eccentrics into a force to be reckoned with, he stumbles onto a much bigger scheme than anyone expected. This could be the showstopper of their careers–if his back doesn’t give out first.
 
This second book in the Occupational Hazards series blends wacky characters, sincere faith, and surprising plot twists into one hilariously addictive read.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for
Snitch

“A wonderful, fully developed ensemble cast makes Snitch an entertaining,
engaging read. Rene’s flair for a comedic, well-turned phrase shines here.
Snitch is worth snatching.”
—SUSAN MEISSNER, author of Widows and Orphans

Snitch is an engaging crime novel, balanced between sheer whimsy and genuine human drama.”
—CHRISWELL, author of Tribulation House

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400071586
  • Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/15/2007
  • Series: Occupational Hazards Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,110,057
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Rene Gutteridge is the author of ten novels, including the Boo series; My Life as a Doormat, a 2006 Women of Faith selection; and Scoop, the first Occupational Hazard novel. Trained as a screenwriter, she also has been published extensively as a playwright. She served as director of drama for First United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City for five years. Now a full-time writer, Rene lives with her husband, Sean, and their two children in Oklahoma City.
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Read an Excerpt

Snitch
Chapter 1

Mack Hazard stood near her parents’ coffins. Though side by side, they seemed too far apart. Her hand glided across the marbled texture that swirled over each top, but she kept her attention on the approaching crowd. Without fail, each person reached out to touch the caskets.

Mack grew rigid every time it happened, but took a cue from her oldest brother, Mitch, and tried to seem courteous.

Mitch shook hands and patted backs, reassuring everyone at the graveside that things would be okay. Except he hadn’t reassured Mack. He had called a family meeting for later. Maybe the reassurance would come then.

Mack tried to ignore her sister Cassie, who continued to wail louder than a windstorm. Thankfully, that meant Cassie attracted most of the hugs.

Hank stood by a tree he’d retreated to after the service, tracing the grass with his toe. She could see his solemn features, and she swallowed to hold back tears. Cassie was crying enough for everyone.

Mack looked through the crowd to find Hayden, her younger sister by two years. Of her six siblings, she was closest to Hayden, and being separated from her now caused a strange tickle of panic.

Suddenly, two arms reached from behind and pulled her into a hug. Mack’s first instinct was to body slam the owner of the arms–she didn’t like hugs, and she detested anyone grabbing her from behind. But after all, this was her parents’ funeral. It had always bothered her mom that she was so physical. After one brutal game of Thanksgiving flag football, Mack answered her mother’s worries with, “Then you shouldn’t have had any boys.”

Her mother replied, “Go get an ice pack for your brother’s forehead.”

Mack pulled forward, causing the arms to release. She turned around, forcing a smile. When she saw Cassie, she dropped the smile. “You know I hate that,” Mack said.

“You should try it,” Cassie said. “It brings out your eyes.”

“I’m talking about the hug.”

“Oh. I thought you were talking about my mascara.”

“That’s kind of tacky, isn’t it?”

“Blue is tacky. Black is classic.”

“I mean wearing it at all. Mom wouldn’t approve.”
Cassie glanced at the coffin beside them, and tears rolled down her face. “If you must know,” she said between sobs, “Mom once told me it looked nice, but that it would put Dad in the grave if he ever saw me wearing it.”

Mack gestured to the other coffin. “Well, he’s right here.”

“Our parents are dead and all you can complain about is my mascara?” She blotted her eyes.

Mack sighed. “I’m going to check on Hank.”

“You should try crying,” Cassie said. “It’ll make you feel better.”

“No, it won’t.”

“How would you know? You never cry.”

“That’s because it never makes me feel better.” Mack left Cassie and approached Hank, who now fiddled with a piece of bark. “Did Mitch tell you about the meeting?” Mack asked.

Hank didn’t look up. “Yes.”

“What do you think it’s about?”

“It’s what families do when their parents die. They have meetings.”

“We already had two meetings. One at the coroner’s and one at the funeral home.”

“Maybe he’s going to reveal a deep, dark family secret.”

Mack offered a wry grin at Hank’s statement. She was the only sibling who appreciated his
“Oh no,” Mack said suddenly.

“What?”

But Mack was already elbowing through the crowd toward Hayden. She could only see half of Hayden’s face–the other half was blocked by weird old Mr. Stewart, who had the breath of a man expired twice over.

“Excuse me,” Mack said, squeezing through a circle of well-wishers. “I’m sorry,” she said as she pushed through another cluster. She touched Hayden’s shoulder. “Mr. Stewart,” Mack said, “I’m sorry, but we have to go. We’re having a family meeting.”

“A family meeting? About what?” Hayden asked.

“I’ll tell you on the way,” Mack whispered and headed toward the car.

Mr. Stewart wasn’t easily thwarted and he followed behind, hammering them with one question after another. He was a nosy man, too, a character trait his DNA seemed to anticipate by placing a large mole at the tip of his nose. Mack opened the door for Hayden, nearly pushing her in, and closed it. She turned around and was nearly bowled over by his breath.

“Mackenzie,” he began. Mack bristled. She hated being called Mackenzie. No one in her family dared to use her full name. Her parents had taught her to be kind and courteous to those who didn’t know her well, but Mack’s idea of kind and courteous was letting Mr. Stewart keep the blood inside his nose. “I am one of your company’s best clients.”

It was true. Mr. Stewart hired more clowns in a year than a circus used in a lifetime, which was exactly why Mack kept a very close watch on him. There was something odd about a person who liked clowns that much. She should know. Her parents’ clown company had been successful, and Mack, like all the Hazard kids, had been a clown since she was young.
Mr. Stewart peered at her. “I demand to know what’s going on. First of all, were your parents murdered?”

Mack clenched her fists behind her back. “Why would you think they were murdered?”

“The rumor is that they went to Las Vegas for their vacation, and we all know what kind of city that is.”

“Mr. Stewart, they were not murdered. It was just an unfortunate incident.”

“Incident? Accident? What?”

Mack glanced at her sister, who offered a feeble smile. If Hayden hadn’t been nearby, this would be the moment for Mack to take things to an entirely new level. But Hayden didn’t like violence and would probably faint if Mack got aggressive.

“Well?” Mr. Stewart asked.

“Look, we don’t really understand it ourselves,” Mack said through clenched teeth. “But it boils down to an overly ambitious serenading guitar player, a hundred-foot extension cord, and a rack of mood lighting.”

She felt no need to mention the hot tub.

Mr. Stewart’s jaw dropped. Mack shook his hand and said, “We’ll talk soon.” That’s what her father used to say, and he meant it literally. For Mack, it meant Mr. Stewart would not end the afternoon prostrate on the grass. She walked around to the driver’s side door while Mr. Stewart continued blabbing his concerns and Hayden tried to answer him with kindness.
Mack didn’t wait for the conversation to end before she pulled away from the curb. As she rolled down her window for some much-needed fresh air, she got the feeling that the family meeting hadn’t been scheduled just so they could trade more condolences.

Her instincts proved right. Mitch stood in front of the family in their parents’ living room and announced the sale of their clown company to Clowns Inc. As a result, every Hazard would receive enough money to go to college if they wanted to, and to start a new life.
Hayden bolted from the room in tears, and the rest of the family didn’t seem to be taking it much better. Mack spent half an hour in the backyard calming Hayden, reassuring her that everything would be okay, and then she went back inside to see how the rest of her siblings were coping.

Cassie was crying on Claire’s shoulder. Mitch had mentioned Claire’s pregnancy along with the announcement of the sale, but the news that they were all going to be aunts and uncles wasn’t the main topic of conversation. Mack lingered by the mantel looking at family photos until Cassie went into the kitchen, then approached Claire.

“Congratulations,” Mack said.

Claire looked surprised. She touched her belly and smiled. “Thanks,
Mack.”

“I always thought it would be great to be an aunt. Mom’s sister, Aunt Nell, was fun. Every summer we would spend a week at her house. Some of my best memories…” Nell died a few years ago, and Mack still felt the hole in her heart.

“I told Mitch not to announce the pregnancy today, but he wanted everyone to know. He kept calling it a sign of hope, a sign that life was going on.” She shrugged. “I just didn’t think it was a good time.”

Mack glanced at all the somber faces. “We’ll look a whole lot more excited once the shock wears off. The shock about the company, I mean. This is a lot for everyone to take.”

“You don’t look upset,” Claire said.

“I’m learning to control my anger.”

“Oh. Well, uh, good. What will you do now that you’re no longer a clown?”

Mack smiled. She knew exactly what she would do.

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Foreword

1. What was the most surprising thing you learned about undercover work?

2. Could you identify with Ron’s feelings of uselessness? How have you struggled with this and resolved it in your own life?

3. Why do you think Mack had an impact on Jesse?

4. What superstitions do you have in your life? Why do you think people are sometimes more willing to trust lucky socks than God?

5. Have you ever felt burned-out like Kyle? What kinds of things did God use to help you recover? What truths did you learn along the way?

6. Much of Laura’s resentment came from something that didn’t actually happen in real life, but rather was a scenario on paper. Have you ever been influenced by something that didn’t really happen but felt real nevertheless?

7. Laura’s search for self-satisfaction came in a way she never expected, through the reconciliation with her father, instead of a job promotion. In what unexpected ways has God satisfied you?

8. What about Mack do you believe was most influential with the people around her? What aspect of Laura was hardest to deal with for you, the reader?

9. What part of the plot was most surprising to you? What was the funniest part of the book?

10. Which character did you identify the most with?

11. Which character made you want to scream?

12. What part of undercover work do you think would be the scariest?

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Reading Group Guide

1. What was the most surprising thing you learned about undercover work?

2. Could you identify with Ron’s feelings of uselessness? How have you struggled with this and resolved it in your own life?

3. Why do you think Mack had an impact on Jesse?

4. What superstitions do you have in your life? Why do you think people are sometimes more willing to trust lucky socks than God?

5. Have you ever felt burned-out like Kyle? What kinds of things did God use to help you recover? What truths did you learn along the way?

6. Much of Laura’s resentment came from something that didn’t actually happen in real life, but rather was a scenario on paper. Have you ever been influenced by something that didn’t really happen but felt real nevertheless?

7. Laura’s search for self-satisfaction came in a way she never expected, through the reconciliation with her father, instead of a job promotion. In what unexpected ways has God satisfied you?

8. What about Mack do you believe was most influential with the people around her? What aspect of Laura was hardest to deal with for you, the reader?

9. What part of the plot was most surprising to you? What was the funniest part of the book?

10. Which character did you identify the most with?

11. Which character made you want to scream?

12. What part of undercover work do you think would be the scariest?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 4, 2012

    Not what i had hoped

    Not as good as Listen Was a bit dissapointed but I read it all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A fun read with crazy characters

    LVPD property crimes captain, Laura Gates, has a chance to prove to the narcotics division that keeping her off the team was a big mistake. Gates pulls together undercover task force of relatively inexperienced officers and calls upon former undercover officer, sergeant Ron Yeager to lead the team. Less than 2 years from retirement Yeager is not sure he¿s the man for the job but Gates convinces him to take accept the position.<BR/><BR/>When assembled the team seems more like the Keystone cops with members like "Wiz" who has an unusually small bladder, "Dozer" who falls asleep at any given moment and "Mack" a female cop who wears her faith like a badge. Somehow Yeager has to train his team and make the bust that will bring Gates the respect she deserves in the eyes of the narcotics division.<BR/><BR/>This is second book in the Occupational Hazards series but stands alone as I have not yet read Scoop which includes Mack's sister, Hayden. What I liked about the book is that although Mack is the character that ties the series together the story wasn't focused solely on her. Gutteridge weaves together a great story using off the wall characters that liven up the plot with humor and wackiness throughout. It's hard to categorize this one but I'd say if you love Christian fiction, chick lit and suspense books you'll love this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2007

    Hilarious Cop Story

    When Sgt. Ron Yeager--a couple of years from retired and bored to tears--is asked to head up an undercover operation to stop car thieves, he jumps at the chance to shake things up. Little did he know what he was getting in return. An undercover cop who falls asleep at the most inopportune times--aptly nicknamed Dozer. Dozer's friend and fellow cop Jesse, who having a couple of years in undercover behind him things he's seen it all, done it all. An outspoken Christian named Mack Hazard, who wants to be an undercover cop when she grows up, but really doesn't have the heart for it it seems. Another who's always having to go the restroom. And . . . Ron's pastor? You'll have to read the book to learn about this last one and more. And when the operation goes beyond what anyone thought it ever would things really start cooking with this tale. Once again, Rene has written a heartwarming story of sincere faith woven into the fabric of a entertaining story. The one thing that really surprised me was Ron Yeager. Though the story is part of the Occupational Hazards series and one of the characters is a Hazard sibling, the main character always seemed to be Ron. I didn't mind though. He was engaging, entertaining, interesting and a character to care for. You really want this guy to rise above when he's become and see him shine. And he does. Like one other reviewer said, this is book two in a series and yet it stands on it's own. I never found myself wondering about what had gone before. Rene does a great job of helping you understand what came before and how it relates to now with feeling like you have to go back and read book one. Though I hope you will. If kooky characters in outrageously funny situations that stretch them is your thing, Rene Gutteridge is the writer to read. She always manages to be funny and serious in the right places. Her writing is tight and easy to read. Congrats on another great story Rene!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2007

    Zany, Fun Read!

    When asked to head up a task force to bust an auto theft ring in Las Vegas, Sergeant Ron Yeager isn¿t sure he wants to leave his desk job. Oh, he knows he still has what it takes. He¿s just not sure he has the nerve to face his wife if he takes an undercover assignment this close to retirement! And when his overeager pastor inserts himself onto Ron¿s mismatched team of officers, he begins to suspect they don¿t have a prayer of a chance. The resulting madcap adventure is full of unexpected twists, comical developments, and a wonderful example of living your faith at work. Gutteridge¿s witty writing kept me chuckling all the way to the end. I loved this book, and I think you will, too.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A delightful police procedural

    Although retirement looms on the near horizon and he earned the desk job, Las Vegas police sergeant Ron Yeager is bored. Thus when the brass asks him if he would agree to train an undercover task force of rookies to infiltrate an auto theft gang, Ron euphorically says yes. He may have reconsidered his agreeing if he met his inexperienced team before his acceptance.-------------- Ron meets his squad and instantly knows some idiot must be punishing him as they make the worst choices he could imagine going undercover inside the underbelly of Sin City. The squad includes an open Christian Mackenzie ¿Mack¿ Hazard trying to get converts, super-egotistical Jesse ¿know it all¿ Lunden trying to get Ron¿s job, and Dozer trying to stay awake more minutes than Disney¿s Sleepy. Ron thinks this trio will send him into disability retirement due to high blood pressure.----------- The second Occupational Hazards tale (see SNOOP) is a delightful police procedural due to a strong prime cast. Ron is fabulous as he wonders what insanity led him to say yes. His tyros are eccentrically different as Mack makes her religious beliefs known to her teammates, Jesse makes it clear he knows more than anyone else including Ron, and Dozer cannot stay awake. Humor and police on the job training and investigation fit nicely together in Rene Gutteridge¿s fun inspirational tale.-------------- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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