Saturday, March 30, 2013

Avenged by Janice Cantore

Officer Carly Edwards finds three young gangbangers shot execution style. This alerts Carly and her husband, Sergeant Nick Anderson, head of the gang unit, fear Las Playas may be on the verge of a gang war. The Las Playas Police Department is put on high alert as tensions escalate between rival gangs, especially after Carly confiscates weapons from a gang leader and learns they were stolen from a military base along with explosive devices.
However, something doesn't add up, and Carly suspects there might be more going on than is on the surface. As she prepares to testify at a major trial, Carly’s reputation is shredded by a reporter apparently trying to discredit her professionally. Facing pressure on all fronts, Carly must rely on faith and trust God in a deeper way during one of the biggest struggles of her career.

This is the third book in the "Pacific Coast Justice" series by Janice Cantore.  I have already read the first book, "Accused" and already read and reviewed "Abducted", so grabbing this one from the store shelf was a no-brainer.  If you haven’t read the other books in this series, go buy them now.  Go read my other reviews too so that you can see what a great reviewer I am J

Carly is preparing for the upcoming Burke trial where she will be the star witness.  It’s because of her involvement that several corrupt officials have gone to jail, and hopefully Burke will be put away for murder.  Nick is now the sargent of the homicide division, so they are juggling their work life, personal life and spiritual life.  The atmosphere in their town of Las Playas is bristling with tension as environmental protestors have setup camp in Sandy Park to protest changes to the marina and new development along the shoreline.  As if that isn’t enough, a gang war appears imminent between the two biggest gang rivals in town.  On a chance encounter with the head of one of the gangs, Carly’s partner is sidelined with a knee injury.  Carly is offered a job with a Federal Taskforce, so maybe Joe getting hurt is a sign.  A recent parolee arrives on the scene along with a woman blogger who seem bent on discrediting Carly and her credibility.  Then there’s a bomb at the local coffee shop, a protestor killed along the water, Carly is involved in another shooting and Nick is kidnapped!  Do any of these things tie together?  Will Carly be thrown off the force for complaints lodged against her?  Where is Nick and will she find in him time?  Yep, you guess it….. Go buy the book!

Since this is the last book in the series, it’s rather bittersweet.  Carly and Nick have been such great role-models for not only top notch police officers, but as a great example of what communication should look like in a marriage.  These two characters provide time for themselves together, separately and for Christ.  I read a review that said her characters aren’t very believable because they appear to always be on a honeymoon.  Well, if we turn it ALL over to Him, I believe that that is exactly what He wants us to look like as we go through out day to day lives.  The constant theme I found through this book is that we must always remember the He is in charge and that if we turn it over to Him we have a better outlook on our lives.  Will we have a perfect life to lead with no struggles or problems or cares?  Not a chance.  But we will know that He is there to protect us and to care for us through all those times.

Is this a "guy's book"?  Most certainly!  This book again is littered with police chases, bomb threats, gang killings and more.  This was a very fitting end to two great characters that Ms. Cantore has been gracious enough to introduce us all to.

Interview with Janice Cantore:

What is your favorite bible verse and why? 
This changes depending on what I am going through. Right now it is Jer 29:11-13 I need to remember that God has good plans for my life, nothing is haphazard.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
That there is hope in life. No one is here by accident. We have a Creator and a Savior who are concerned about us and no matter what mistakes we make God can and does redeem. 

Besides writing, what are some of your favorite hobbies? 
Reading, hiking with my dogs, cross stitch and crocheting. (And a bad habit of wasting time playing computer games.)

What advice would you give to a beginning writer?
Be sure it's your calling even if you never make a penny at it. Be prepared to learn, to listen to criticism, and to never stop learning.

Favorite memory from childhood?
We always had Thanksgiving dinner at our house. The rest of the the family would start arriving around noon. Some of my best memories are of the wonderful smells of my mother's cooking, of aunts and uncles arriving with flowers and then everyone gathering around a huge table eating wonderful food and hearing many conversations going on everywhere. 

Favorite comfort food?
Anything Italian. Lasagna, ravioli, smothered in cheese with thick, crunchy toasted French bread

Thanks, Ms. Cantore, for taking the time to chat with us today!


A retired Long Beach California police officer of 22 years (16 in uniform and 6 as a non-career officer), Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments, patrol, administration, juvenile investigations and training. During the course of her career in uniform Janice found that faith was indispensable to every aspect of the job and published articles on faith at work, one for a quarterly newspaper called “Cop and Christ”, and another for the monthly magazine “Today’s Christian Woman”.

With retirement Janice began to write longer pieces and several novels were born. She has a two book suspense series in print she calls Brinna’s Heart Series, The Kevlar Heart and A Heart of Justice (Oaktara Publishing). Janice is excited and honored to now be a part of the Tyndale Publishing House family. Accused, the first installment in her new suspense offering, The Pacific Coast Justice Series, is set to be released February 1, 2012 and will kick off a brand new chapter in her writing career. In addition to suspense and action, her books feature strong female leads. Janice writes suspense novels designed to keep you engrossed and leave you inspired.

Janice has bachelor’s degrees in Biology (University of California at Irvine) and Physical Education (California State University at Long Beach).  She also completed graduate coursework in Criminal Justice (University of Southern California) and is currently a member of American Christian Fiction Writer’s and Sisters in Crime.  She attends Crescenta Valley Community Church in La Crescenta California and while a few years ago she retired to a house in the mountains of Southern California, she currently resides in Glendale California in order to help care for her aging parents. Janice is single and has three Labrador Retrievers, Jake, Maggie and Abbie. Janice’s hobbies are reading, cross-stitching, kayaking, hiking, walking the dogs and trying to stay fit.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. Good review. Interesting to combine a book about gangs, drugs, cops and crimes to Christian literature. Surprising mix and one that would appeal to people from all walks of life. Thanks for a good review.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Elaine. I'm glad you found me and enjoyed the review.