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The Right Wrong Thing (Dot Meyerhoff…
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The Right Wrong Thing (Dot Meyerhoff Mystery)

by Ellen Kirschman

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The Right Wrong Thing by Ellen Kirschman is a fast moving, suspense-filled book. It is an intense, thought-provoking storyline. The author has a strong knowledge of law enforcement & psychology. I gave it five stars.

"Randy Alderson Spelling looks more like a girl than a woman. So tiny she's almost lost in the cushions of my office couch." She is in the office of Dot Meyerhoff, the Department Psychologist, having her final interview before she can become a police officer of the Kenilworth Police Department.

"'And your family? How do they feel about your becoming a police officer?'

'They're all in law enforcement, except my mom. She worries about me, of course. But growing up with my brothers, she knows I can take care of myself.'"

I would like to thank the Ocean View Publishing & NetGalley for a complimentary kindle copy. That did not change my opinion for this review. ( )
  carolyninjoy | Apr 12, 2016 |
Synopsis/blurb……

Officer Randy Spelling had always wanted to be a police officer, to follow in the footsteps of her brothers and her father. Not long after joining the force, she mistakenly shoots and kills Lakeisha Gibbs, a pregnant teenager. The community is outraged; Lakeisha’s family is vocal and vicious in their attacks against Spelling. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and filled with remorse, Randy is desperate to apologize to the girl’s family. Everyone, including the police chief, warns her against this, but the young police officer will not be dissuaded. Her attempt is catastrophic. Dr. Dot Meyerhoff, police psychologist, plunges herself into the investigation despite orders from the police chief to back off. Not only does the psychologist’s refusal to obey orders jeopardize her career, but her life as well, as she enlists unlikely allies and unconventional undercover work to expose the tangled net of Officer Spelling’s disastrous course.
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My take.....

My second time with author Ellen Kirschman and her police psychologist Dot Meyerhoff, after enjoying Burying Ben back in 2014. Review here. (http://col2910.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03...)

Dot’s back in the firing line again. Having cleared Randy Spelling as psychologically sound to take up a position with the Kenilworth Police Department; Spelling is soon involved in an incident where a male officer gets attacked and in the susbsequent melee she panics and flees. Her colleagues turn on her.

Already on the defensive and somewhat isolated, trouble looms larger when Spelling kills a black, pregnant and unarmed teenager, an incident that further estranges the police department from elements of the community they serve.

Dot tries to help Randy cope with the guilt she feels, by counselling both her and her husband Rich Spelling. With a new and unpopular female police chief, a black community backlash, a troubled officer in Spelling - struggling to cope with the aftermath of the incident and cracks appearing in her marriage to Rick; the last thing Dot needs is a new tree-hugging, eye-lid fluttering, ambulance chasing competitor of a psychologist in town – Marvel Johnson. That’s what she gets.

I really enjoyed The Right Wrong Thing. It’s a fresh look at the police and the problems they face, from the perspective of an informed outsider. Meyerhoff whilst attempting to connect with Randy, struggles to help her overcome her guilt about the incident and the need she feels to apologise to the victim's family. On a more general level, we see the difficulties a police counsellor faces in trying to establish a rappor with officers and their fears that the feelings and details revealed in their sessions don’t automatically get passed up the chain of command to the hierarchy in the department.

Kirschman adds flesh to the bones of our tale, by offering an insight into Dot’s own frailties and insecurities, both from a career perspective and in her personal life. Having been betrayed by her ex-husband in our previous book, Dot is still taking baby steps with the new man in her life, Frank. The ups and downs of this relationship, as the case unfolds and then explodes adds another layer to the story.

A dramatic event at the mid-point of the book, ups the ante.

Overall verdict - enjoyable and thought provoking without being preachy. With a lot of recent high publicity police shootings, particularly white on black, it’s interesting to get the often unheard police perspective to balance the debate. Kirschman’s no police apologist, but with over 30 years as a police psychologist, she articulates the pressures and fears and split-second decision making first responders have to make when approaching dangerous, life threatening situations.

4.5 from 5.

Ellen Kirschman has her website here. (http://www.ellenkirschman.com/)
She was kind enough to send me a copy of this one for review.

Read in January, 2015
http://col2910.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02... ( )
  col2910 | Feb 4, 2016 |
Dot Meyerhoff, the main character of this book, should have her police psychologist license revoked. She seems quite incompetent, and stupidly inserts herself into the middle of active police murder investigations with little thought and even smaller consequences. The author does not do a good job with character development, and I found myself questioning the motives and actions of nearly all of the characters throughout. I'm surprised I finished the book - I question now why I did. ( )
1 vote flourgirl49 | Jan 20, 2016 |
The odd thing about The Right Wrong Thing by Eileen Kirschman is that I was more fascinated by Officer Randy Spelling than the main character, Dr. Dot Meyerhoff. I expected Dr. Dot Meyerhoff, the police psychologist to put herself into risky situations. Without doing that, how was there going to be a story? To round her character out she had a love interest, was well educated and had her own emotional problems from her past.

Randy Spelling, the new officer, fresh out of training is very petite. She always wanted to be in the police force to be like her dad and her brothers. She was so excited to begin her new job and then she makes a big mistake and no one will speak to her. Randy wants to please and to do good, and do the right thing. It is very clear that she needed expert psychological counseling but that was sideswiped. When she gets back on duty, she makes an even worse mistake and blames herself

She never did recover psychologically from her first mistake she was not prepared to return to duty. Randy's yearning for clouds her reason in puts her in danger. She can’t sleep, she can eat, and all she wants is to apologize to the family of the teenage pregnant girl that she shot by mistake. This was the worst thing that she could do.

From the first page, this book hooked into the story. The author, Ellen Kirschman explains PTSD and the chemical part of psychology. The story is narrated by the psychologist and the author was a police and public safety psychologist for a long time. That makes this story seem more real which I enjoyed.

I also enjoyed the entrance of another psychologist, Marvel Johnson. Marvel had a religious based training and too naïve and not really fit to be a psychologist. I liked this aspect of this book and enjoyed reading about the mess that she got herself in. Since I have degrees in psychology and counseling myself, I met people like her and it was poetic justice for me to see one get herself in a lot of trouble.

I would love to read the first book in this series and all the following ones.

I received the finished copy of The Right Wrong Thing from Partners in Crime but that in no way influenced the thoughts or feelings in my review. ( )
  Carolee888 | Nov 23, 2015 |
She’s seeking employment as a police officer with Kenilworth Police Department, a suburb of San Francisco. Randy’s father and brothers were cops. She even married a cop, Rich Spelling. Acting Chief Jay Pence was pushing to obtain more women on the force. Randy is so sure of herself and she passes every test – every test, that is, except the actual ‘on the job’ test. She fails to have her partner, Tom Rutger’s, back. She freezes and he gets hurt. Now, there’s a lot of anger toward her as well as distrust. Hubby tells her, “Get tough. Show ‘em what you can do. Beat the crap out of somebody so they’ll leave you alone.” Just a couple of days later, the headlines read, “Cop Shoots Pregnant Teen.”

Doctor Dot Meyerhoff is the department psychologist counseling Randy. When Randy pulled over Lakeisha Gibbs, she told the girl to get out of her car. Lakeisha reached over to her side and pulled up an item that at first site, Randy identified as a possible gun. She fatally shoots Lakeisha. The item? A cell phone.

This is Randy’s frightful story. It’s alarming and in some ways, could be read like tomorrow’s headlines. But, Randy is not the protagonist. Most of the chapters are told through Doc Meyerhoff’s point of view. One incident after another and counseling Randy and Lakeisha’s family become a full-time job for the Doc. However, the name of the protagonist didn’t appear until 8% of the way in. Readers of the first in the series would have known, but I felt a bit confused at the beginning. There are several places here and there that could have used editing. Several times, text seemed to be added where it was not applicable. The story line is so magnetic that it continues to pull the reader forward. The author, Ellen Kirschman, spent thirty years as a police psychologist so she definitely knows her material and she knows how to present the relationship between cops, their situations, and their need of counseling. Rating: 3 out of 5. ( )
  FictionZeal | Nov 17, 2015 |
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Officer Randy Spelling had always wanted to be a police officer, to follow in the footsteps of her brothers and her father. Not long after joining the force, she mistakenly shoots and kills Lakeisha Gibbs, a pregnant teenager. The community is outraged; Lakeisha's family is vocal and vicious in their attacks against Spelling. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and filled with remorse, Randy is desperate to apologize to the girl's family. Everyone, including the police chief, warns her against this, but the young police officer will not be dissuaded. Her attempt is catastrophic. Dr. Dot Myerhoff, police psychologist, plunges herself into the investigation despite orders from the police chief to back off. Not only does the psychologist's refusal to obey orders jeopardize her career, but her life as well, as she enlists unlikely allies and unconventional undercover work to expose the tangled net of Officer Spelling's disastrous course.… (more)

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