Breach of Honor – Janice Cantore

Breach of Honor Janice Cantore
Breach of Honor by Janice Cantore
Also by this author: Code of Courage, One Final Target
Published by Tyndale on July 6, 2021
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Romance, Suspense
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As a police officer in Table Rock, Oregon, Leah Radcliff puts her life on the line to help others every day. But at home, Leah's battling her own personal nightmare: Brad, her abusive husband, a fellow officer, celebrated hero, and beloved son of a powerful prominent family. Brad's violent outbursts and suspicious activities have left Leah physically and emotionally scarred, until one desperate action to put a stop to his abuse results in deadly consequences.
Though public opinion seems ready to convict Leah, Officer Clint Tanner is one of the few to believe she acted in self-defense. As he works with Leah's attorney to produce the evidence they need, new truths about Brad's dark side come to light--and reveal a deep-rooted problem in Table Rock. There are some who have breached their sworn duty to serve and protect . . . and they'll do anything to keep their secret safe.

I went back and forth between four and five stars for Breach of Honor by Janice Cantore for a long while, thus I decided to settle on a happy medium: 4.5 stars. Officer Leah Radcliff confronts her husband, Brad, after she witnesses his involvement in what she thinks is a payoff.  Brad’s threat to kill her—following years of abuse—forces her to shoot him. He’s a town hero, someone who can do no wrong in others’ eyes. With that single bullet, Leah’s life plummets into a tailspin at maximum velocity. She loses hope, but a fellow officer named Clint Tanner believes in her innocence. He will stop at nothing to see her name cleared of all charges. Partnering with her lawyer, his investigations reveal there is much more happening than he ever realized.

Clint Tanner doesn’t change much, but Leah definitely does. She goes from a broken soul, bitter toward God, to a woman of prayer that finds her peace in the Father’s arms. That was inspiring. To see her open her heart to Cliff, as well, little by little, made me smile. Not because of the romance itself, necessarily, but Leah finding healing and learning how to forgive herself. I loved everything about her character. Cliff, on the other hand, seemed almost too good to be true. No one in this life is perfect, but I can’t think of a single negative trait for Cliff.

What I appreciate most about Breach of Honor is its accuracy. Janice Cantore portrays the daily operations of a police department with a mastery of someone who has real-life experience. I rarely read author bios. That being said, it was only after completing the book that I learned of Cantore’s career as a police officer.  She knows her subject matter backward and forward, and that’s beyond evident in the novel.  She pulls readers into her world.  When she introduces terms, Cantore does so in a manner not demeaning or patronizing for her readers. Instead, she provides context clues. “TRO,” for example—a temporary restraining order. A judge grants the order, then the characters discuss the acronym.

I also loved how Breach of Honor built a foundation of faith. Most romantic suspense novels—even Christian ones—don’t often incorporate God beyond the occasional prayer. With Cantore’s novel, God is a silent character. Never speaking, but He offers peace, calmness, and direction in the midst of a storm.  Cantore also scatters Bible verses throughout her writing. Some, I knew by heart. Others, when she just provided references, I felt compelled to look them up. A novel pushed me into God’s Word…how cool is that?

My only other negative comment (outside of the too perfect hero): At 448 pages, Breach of Honor by Janice Cantore felt a little too long. There were times the book just seemed to drag. Cantore reminded me of Dee Henderson, who while I love her, can sometimes get…distracted by the small points in the story.  I wanted Breach of Honor to move along. Picture the Stormtrooper in Star Wars, dismissively waving a hand at Ben Kenobi, Luke, and the droids in an old speeder. I wanted to fast forward, yet Cantore traveled at a snail’s pace. And no amount of tugging on a leash was going to make the plot move faster.

Don’t let this deter you from reading Breach of Honor. It is a brilliant and suspense-filled novel that will cause cartoon question marks (and exclamation points!) to appear over your head. I didn’t identify any suspicious characters till close to the end of the novel. Even then, I only figured them out before their “great reveal” because Cantore made it pretty obvious they were shady individuals. If you like crime shows without any outlandish soap opera drama, I highly recommend picking up Breach of Honor. It reads more like true crime than fiction. You won’t regret reading it!