I have been a police psychologist for thirty years. After writing three non-fiction books, I began writing mysteries. This was a lot more fun. Plus it gave me the opportunity to take pot shots at cops, my fellow psychologists, and a few ex-husbands.
My protagonist, Dr. Dot Meyerhoff, is also a police psychologist. I named her after my mother, Dorothy, and my maternal grandmother, Rose Meyerhoff.
There’s a lot about Dot that’s similar to me. We’re both women working in a man’s world and civilians working in a subculture where civilians are treated as stepchildren and psychologists are regarded with suspicion.
On the other hand, at fifty, she’s younger and thinner than I am. And she takes risks that I would never take to bring the right people to justice. Nothing deters her, not even an order from the police chief to keep out of police business and stick to counseling cops. She is driven by a fierce loyalty to her clients. A loyalty that is complicated by the fact that her beloved father was a 1960’s student radical who was beaten senseless by the police and left with a life long injury.
Dot’s troubles don’t end at work. Dumped for a younger woman by her ex-husband, she’s feeling old, cynical about relationships, and done with blind dates. As she says: “Middle-aged people have too much emotional baggage. Dumping it takes an entire evening that would be better spent shoving sticks under each other’s fingernails.”
And then she meets Frank, a remodeling contractor. Every woman, including Dot’s mother, thinks Frank is fabulous. That’s because he is modeled after my own husband who has been kind enough to let me shamelessly plagiarize his entire life to create this character.
While Frank chases Dot, Dot chases Randy, a young woman officer who mistakenly kills an unarmed pregnant teenager. Randy has PTSD. She’s determined to apologize to the dead girl’s family and nothing Dot tries – enlisting unlikely allies and engaging in unconventional undercover work – will stop her or change the catastrophic results.
The Series: Burying Ben and The Right Wrong Thing are both published by Oceanview Publishing. They need not be read in order.
The Right Wrong Thing is the second book in the Dot Meyerhoff mystery series, published by Oceanview Publishing, October 2015.
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 Myerhoff, 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.
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Meet the author
Ellen lives in the Bay Area with her husband who is a retired remodeling contractor and photographer. She is a volunteer clinician at the First Responders Support Network facilitating retreats for first responders suffering with PTSD, their families and significant others. She gives workshops to law enforcement personnel worldwide. Her non-fiction books are I Love a Cop: What Police Families Need to Know; I Love a Fire Fighter; What Families Need to Know and Counseling Cops: What Clinicians Need to Know. She is a regular at water aerobics where her fellow water wigglers have founded the Naked Ladies Fan Club. Because they have seen her in the buff, Ellen rarely worries about what to wear to book clubs.
Visit Ellen at www.ellenkirschman.com
Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of The Right Wrong Thing. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end March 11, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!
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