Chief of Police Bret Skoal is being blackmailed. A videotape showing his excessive use of force on a group of unarmed teenagers has been shipped overnight to the department, just in time to complicate an ongoing homicide investigation.
Officer Robbie Brooks is five years sober, and barely hanging on to his job thanks to Chief Skoal. He’s desk bound and bored, but at least he’s still alive, so long as his old partner doesn’t come back to finish him.
Rookie Lou Culpepper frequently blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, because reality is often so damn unsatisfying.
That’s all about to change.
Well, Judith Boswell did it; she crafted a character in The Junior Officer who gets my vote as the most annoying fictional journalist I’ve ever encountered (I don’t know any journalists or anchorpersons personally). But Vi Clemmons is an interesting woman–she is mouthy, opinionated, and fearless. I kind of like her. It took awhile, because for most of this story Vi annoyed the hell out of me. But as the story progressed, I saw another side of her, a warm side that…well, I will let you find out for yourself! The Junior Officer, Lou Culpepper, finally gets a chance to enter into the real world, shake off his boredom, and be useful as a police officer. Culpepper’s an interesting character, a little weird sometimes but smart and he comes off as kind of cute. Culpepper as a character reminds me of most of us when we are young: smart, but kind of clueless sometimes until real life helps us grow up. Culpepper is an “aw shucks” kind of hero, bumbling a bit, unsure of himself, but not giving up. Cute.
I love mystery stories, and I really liked The Junior Officer. The story kept me guessing, and that always makes me smile! The characters are well developed, even the baddies (I won’t give any more away). The dialogue flows easily between the characters, making it sound more real, like the characters really know each other, really exist. As a reader, this gives me a chance to enter into the world of the story, allowing me to escape for a few hours and try to figure things out.
The Junior Officer is the first novel written by Judith Boswell, and it’s a fine first effort. If you enjoy a good mystery, you will enjoy The Junior Officer.