Third Watch: A Tracy Crosswhite Short Story (Tracy Crosswhite #0.5), by Robert Dugoni

Four stars

Dugoni presents another well-crafted preface to his new Tracy Crosswhite series. After suffering through the guilt of her sister’s murder, Tracy Crosswhite used her thirst for justice to apply to the police academy. Passing with flying colours, she is sent to Seattle and works as a beat cop, now six years on the job. After the SPD is roasted for its treatment of female officers, a follow-up piece is slated and Crosswhite is given a journalist for a ride-along. Crosswhite prefers the Third Watch, colloquially-known as the night shift, where they’re action and she can hone her skills. Refusing to discuss the gender discrepancies, she answers a call of a domestic disturbance. Crosswhite seeks to diffuse the situation but calls for back-up, which does not arrive. Now Crosswhite must make the ultimate decision as the domestic is turning into a hostage situation and she has a reporter eyeing her every move. Acting as she feels any officer would, Crosswhite seeks to make personal parallels with a man who has his wife and daughter on the other end of a shotgun, though she is unprepared for what happens next and must think on her feet. Trying to take the ‘do your best’ approach, Crosswhite will not get sullied with the department’s politics, even if it can secure her a fast promotion to detective. Dugoni fleshes out more about his new heroine, whose approach is success through hard work, rather than pity.

Robert Dugoni continues to impress with this new character. Tracy Crosswhite is driven by desire and passion, hoping to make a difference every day on the job. in his second brief introductory piece on Crosswhite, Dugoni continues to lay the groundwork for a complex, yet approachable, character and one who uses her skills rather than her gender to climb the ladder, pushing those who seek to hamper her abilities well out of her way. With a chance to make a difference and push past the glass ceilings apparently in place, Crosswhite will surely be a force with whom many will come into contact over the coming years.

Kudos, Mr. Dugoni for another wonderful short story. I am eager to see what readers can expect from Crosswhite in the years to come.