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Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Monday, February 26, 2018

By the Book - Protection Detail

Welcome back!

            This month’s book review is another foray into the romance genre. I was never a big fan of love stories, so I decided to make the experience less jarring by finding a novel that had something I could relate to. Being a dog owner, I was attracted to the following novel; Protection Detail by Shirley McCoy.

This book actually came into my possession after returning a bunch of old novels to the local used bookstore. Nothing interesting was standing out for me, so I decided to pick something thematic for my next February book review.

           The story follows an investigation into the murder of a senator's son conducted by Gavin McCord, a K-9 unit Captain. Cassie Danver, a woman who works in a foster home, is in charge of a dozen children. One of the foster kids end up being key witnesses in the murder, forcing Gavin and Cassie to join forces to protect the children while the killer is apprehended.  True to any romance novel, the two protagonists develop feelings for each other despite being in constant danger.

Image result for protection detail shirlee mccoy

Back of the Book:

After a prominent senator's son is murdered, Capitol K-9 Unit captain Gavin McCord wants answers. The senator was a mentor to Gavin and he'll stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice. With his team of elite K-9 cops and his loyal dog, Glory, at his side, Gavin discovers that a child of Cassie Danvers's nearby foster home may have witnessed the murder. He's drawn to the determined and beautiful woman but she doesn't want him interviewing her traumatized charges. Yet trusting Gavin is the only way to stay one step ahead of the deadly gunman when Cassie become a target.

From the book: Protection Detail
By: Shirlee McCoy
Imprint and Series: Steeple Hill
Publication Date: 03/2015
ISBN-13: 9780373446544
Copyright © 2015
By: Shirlee McCoy
® and TM trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
For more romance information surf to: http://www.eHarlequin.com

What I learned from this book
  • The Build up/Payout ratio: This book made me realise that if you build up to an event, you need to deliver on the pay out. Throughout the entire story, multiple attempts are made to progress the investigation, but sadly the book ends and the culprit is left unfound. After commiting to a story for 200 plus pages, I can tell you this left me feeling cheated.
  • Chekhov's gun: “Chekhov’s gun” is a dramatic principle that states every element mentioned in a story must be necessary and serve a purpose, and that extraneous details must be removed. Giving an object attention should be considered a signal to the readers that it has some importance to the story. This story made mention of several key elements however, that played no real role in the story. The victims wife, for example, is mentioned several times for being a potential witness, but is never found throughout the story. So we don't know if she was the killer, a witness, or dead. I found this lack of information annoying.
  • Romance: How the author built the relationship between Gavin and Cassie was rather interesting. Both had troubled backgrounds, but we saw how their emotional barriers came down little by little, using a combination of simple, causal actions (such as longing stares, honest conversation, etc) and a dramatic situation (in this case, being pursued by killers).

Shirlee McCoy is a New York Times best-selling author, whose first book was published in 2004. She's written more than 45 novels, which have appeared on the New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, and USA Today bestsellers lists.

When she's not writing, she's homeschooling her two youngest children and spending time with loved ones. Her books are a reflection of her passion for relationships and community  that explore the dynamics between siblings, parents, children, and friends.  

For those interested in reading more books from Shirlee McCoy, please check out these websites:

In closing, I would like to thank you all for dropping by and following my blog. Your patronage and encouragement is truly appreciated.

Until next time!


Patrick Osborne

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