Third Watch by Robert Dugoni is a short story I downloaded using Kindle unlimited (KU). It could possibly be described as a police procedural for hostage negotiation situations. When Patrol Officer Tracy Crosswhite responded to a call for help from a neighbor of Alexey Gorshkov she faced a possible domestic abuse situation or a hostage scenario. Alexey was a stereotypical Russian drunk. He had a record of spousal abuse but each time the police responded they only told him to leave his residence; each time he returned the following day. His wife, Helene, had finally decided to leave him with children in tow. Alexey decided to deal with the problem either by shooting his wife and children or shooting himself. Shooting Tracy on the way to his solution would be collateral damage.
Arriving at the apartment without backup, Tracy faced a decision. Going in alone was not accepted procedure. And she had a ride along journalist with her; her actions would make the newspaper the following day no matter what she did. Her actions would be critically examined by police superiors who were dealing with the social issue of gender integration of the police force. Tracy’s future as a police officer was at stake.
This fictional short story depicts typical problems in a police department. Dugoni examines the role and acceptance of female police officers. He examines the problem of scarce police resources. What should an officer do when facing a possible life-threatening situation alone? Dugoni accurately describes police officer reaction in a hostage-taking situation (I used to be in law enforcement). This would be a comfort read for a police officer on break. It validates what goes on in the law enforcement community.