Hands across the Sea
“This novel is about strong family and friendship bonds in a work environment filled with conspiratorial colleagues pushing forward their own clever agendas. This is a phenomenal novel which sketches the personalities of a wide cache of command staffers all the way from the sergeant to the Sheriff and his Three Wise Men. I admire everything Cook has done with this book. I found it so easy to follow that I merely reread certain paragraphs because they deserved a second look. Humor is supplied in abundance.
“Overall though, this novel is about strong family and friendship bonds in a work environment filled with conspiratorial colleagues pushing forward their own clever agendas.”
Cee-Jay Aurinko Online Book Club
The Thin Blue Li(n)e
James Sowers New York, New York
James Boyd Elmhurst, Illinois
Sergio Cook Upland, California
About the Book
Hands across the Sea
Brace yourselves for some butt-kicking real action. Brian Cook’s book debut, Hands across the Sea, will take you to the never-before-seen setting on the other side of the line.
Nothing prepares the office of the sheriff, known as the Agency, for the sudden resignation of their sheriff, Garrison Cottrell, and the appearance of Brendan Callaghan as the next-in-line sheriff. Controversy after controversy fog the Agency as law enforcers try to defy law themselves.
About the Book
The Thin Blue Li(n)e
Not your typical law enforcement book—corrupt cops, chasing of criminals, and gunshots—The Thin Blue Li(n)e delivers a behind-the-scenes of the real world of law enforcement agents.
A continuation of where Hands across the Sea left off, The Thin Blue Li(n)e brings back the character of Sheriff Brendan Callaghan. Join his adventures with Undersheriff Maxwell as they as they try to expose the truth behind the complaint filed by the Union.
“I would like to welcome everybody to our Regional Operations Center as we swear at . . . or should I say, swear in our newest leaders,” Sherriff Callaghan said, as the audience laughed. “Today, we’ll be promoting three sergeants, two lieutenants, one captain, and one commander. I’m partial to these appointments, because they’ll be my first as Sheriff.”
“Wasn’t it wild how the Sheriff started off the meeting? I guess getting sued would make anybody snap.”
“Snap?” Lieutenant Kendall exclaimed, as they went into their bad cop/worse cop routine. “He was downright pissed!”
“I know, right? But he has a right to be. I sent Boyle a text to tip him off. He must be shitting bricks right now; I know I would!”
“I knew he knew something,’ Lieutenant Fitzpatrick thought.”
“Why’s he suing the Sheriff?” Lieutenant Kendall asked. “That’s career suicide!”
“Oh, he’s not suing him . . . per se. The unions filed an ‘Intent to Sue’ complaint.”
“The unions?” Lieutenant Fitzpatrick said.
“Yeah, the LEEU and BLEPU? You guys don’t know? Boyle calls me for union advice since I used to be on the board. He told me to keep it on the ‘low down.’”
“Um . . . you mean, the ‘down low,’ Lieutenant Kendall said. “What’s it about?”
“Oh, the ‘down low’ . . . well, they met with their lawyer to see if there were grounds to sue over the promotional tests and . . .”
“Wait a minute . . .” Lieutenant Fitzpatrick interrupted. “Which test?”
“The sergeants, but, I hear the BLEPU’s president . . . Miller . . . he’s been talking to one of the African-American brass, and there's talk of challenging the lieutenant’s test, too.”
“Warren, it’s okay to say Black,” Lieutenant Kendall said. “We won’t tell anybody. Did Miller say who he talked to?”
“What’s the accusations?” Lieutenant Fitzpatrick asked.
“Well the way it was told to me, they think certain deputies were helped more than others to finish higher. They claim test copies were passed out, secret mock orals were conducted, different test packets were handed out on test day, preferential scoring, selective rankings . . .”
They stood speechless, as he rattled off the complaint’s allegations.
“I don’t believe this shit,” Lieutenant Kendall groaned.
“Damn!” Lieutenant Fitzpatrick replied. “I knew it was something, but I didn't know it was something that big. You know how this process goes, Warren, what happens next?”
“The Agency has to file an answer then they’ll probably request copies of what they have. If it's upheld, they can appeal to drag it out. Eventually, a judge may pick a side or they'll strike a deal, but then what happens to those who got promoted off those lists, like you, Mike?”
“Don’t think that didn't cross my mind.”
“This isn’t going to end well,” Lieutenant Fitzpatrick said.
Monica walked into the living room of Casa de Alexander and stared at Phoebe sitting on the floor surrounded by photographs. “Are you still putting all those pictures into albums?”
“And hello to you, too!” Phoebe smiled.
“I offered to scan them into the computer for you. It would literally make this so much easier.”
“Not everything’s better with technology. I’m enjoying my stroll down memory lane, but I saved the best for last. It’s only right we dive in together.”
“Definitely! Sorry, it took me so long to commit, I’ve been crazy swamped at work. One of the supervisors got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and is on the outs. You know, ‘corruption at the highest level’ stuff. I had to assemble a packet and send it to the Feds to decide whether or not they’re going to bring him up on charges.”
“They’re always going to pin misconduct on whoever’s in office. Personally, I trust a bureaucrat with a little dirt under their fingernails before the ones constantly proclaiming they’re squeaky clean. They’re the ones the watchdogs need to keep an eye on.” They headed for the great room, and Phoebe slid open the doors, unveiling journals stacked on the dining table.
Phoebe popped the cork on a Pinot, as they settled in. They sipped and laughed while reading Olivia’s innermost thoughts and exploits. For a woman who didn’t drive, she sure got around.
Phoebe snickered as she read how Olivia fell asleep on a bus and ended up being awakened by the driver at the end of the line. Monica chortled when Olivia implored Walter not to shoot a suspected intruder who turned out to be a young Phoebe sneaking out of the house for some late-night hijinks. They’d interrupt each other to share a nugget or two as the minutes lapsed into hours.
Suddenly, Phoebe’s brow furrowed as Olivia’s writings turned dark and disjointed:
I’ve spent my entire life trying to make others happy, but who’s making me happy? Why must I always hurt inside? But I have to keep persevering like everything’s fine, but, it’s getting harder to contain my pain.Wally’s back from another one of those conferences. I asked him how it went, and he didn’t say a fucking word, as usual! He just looked at me with that STUPID LOOK of his and turned on the idiot box! One day, I’m going to bust that thing to see if he notices me then. He can be so SELFISH! Well, miracles do happen. He finally spoke and said, “You know, the same old stuff.” He only said that to shut me up. Translation: NONE OF YOUR BEESWAX!
He thinks I’m stupid to what’s he’s doing, but he’s not fooling me one bit! Since when does he care about his clothes and how he smells? Who the fuck does he think he is? Why do I continue to stay in this dead-end marriage?
I don’t know how long I can keep wearing this fake smile so nobody sees how much I’m dying inside! It’s like that article said, “The prettiest smile hides the deepest secrets, the brightest eyes cries the most tears, the kindest hearts have felt the most pain.”