Oath Of Honor by Lynette Eason is the first in a new series. This thrilling story is a shout out to those in law enforcement who put their lives on the line each and every day to keep everyone safe. The action never ceases as the plot combines a mystery, criminal investigation, politics, gang wars, shootings, and bad cops. What makes this story stand out is that Eason also brings to life engaging and well-developed characters, including some who have a subtle romance.
The plot begins with childhood friends who are now police partners, Izzy St. John and Kevin Marshall, surveilling an abandoned warehouse after they receive a tip that a high-level arms deal will take place. Kevin decides to go rogue, sprinting into the warehouse and dies in a spray of bullets. Izzy is determined to discover what exactly happened and agrees to work with Kevin’s brother, detective Ryan Marshall, as they unofficially work the case.
Elise Cooper: This is not only a police thriller but also a story of a large family?
Lynette Eason: They all love each other unconditionally. As with many families, law enforcement is in their blood. Besides Izzy there is a K-9 officer, an FBI agent, an undercover detective, a Chief of Police, and to round them out an attorney as well as a surgeon.
EC: Do you watch the TV show Blue Bloods?
LE: I really enjoy it. One day I was sitting there watching it and thought it might be cool to create my own law enforcement family that will have their own adventures, dangers, and romantic situations. Since I married into a big extended family I thought how nice it is to have a large family and used my imagination to create one.
EC: You dedicated the book to law enforcement?
LE: I dedicated the book to law enforcement because I have friends and family in that profession. I just admire them. Because in today’s world some people have no respect for them I wanted them to know that I am giving them a pat on the back through my characters.
EC: How would you describe Izzy?
LE: She is a go-getter. She is smart, inquisitive, loyal, seeks justice, and will always have her friends and family’s back. But she is also stubborn and has a pit bull type of mentality. Izzy has a strong sense of right and wrong and believes anyone who does wrong should face consequences. She has had a crutch on Ryan since childhood.
EC: You put her through the ringer in this story?
LE: Yes. She was shot, beaten, had her house set on fire, and thrown from a building. She is similar to the Charlie Brown character Pig Pen, having a dust cloud over their heads.
She also had a traumatic past which has shaped her current thought process. She is determined to not let it define who she is and will not let it get the best of her. This is why I put in the book this quote, ‘I think sometimes we let our fears build to a point where they’re bigger in our minds than in reality.’ She will always face her fears.
EC: How would you define the hero, Ryan?
LE: He is the stereotypic older brother. He always wants to protect and make everything right. It takes him awhile to realize his feelings for Izzy and to overcome his brother Kevin’s death. He eventually realizes that he cares for Izzy on a deep romantic level.
EC: Since this is a new series what was the process?
LE: I always have a tough time with the first book of a new series. I must make a world of new characters, making sure everything is as accurate as possible. I do not sit down and plot every scene. I know where I want to end up, but not how I will get there.
EC: Do you have a dog because there is a scene where Izzy’s dog loves her bath?
LE: Mozart the dog is based on my dog. He loves his bath. They are both American Eskimo Spitz dogs. My dog is named Dash and he is almost thirteen years old. We named him after the Disney character dog that is in the Incredible movie because he kept running in circles around everyone in my family.
EC: Why the sarcastic banter?
LE: I think a little of me is in the dialogue. I also want readers to understand that many in law enforcement are sarcastic. They have a morbid sense of humor and use sarcasm as a coping mechanism. I try to keep the dialogue true to what they would say on a daily basis.
EC: What do you want the readers to get out of the story?
LE: There is true evil in this world. They need to remember that if they are really in trouble and need help they call 911 who sends over someone in law enforcement. I saw this true-life episode on TV where this guy was trying to rob a store and was locked in by the employees. He had no way to get out so he picked up his phone and called 911.
EC: Why the South Carolina setting?
LE: I went to school at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. I am familiar with the setting and liked how the police are set up within five different regions. Since I did not want to set the story in a real region I added a sixth region that was completely fictional. This way I could do what I want and not worry that someone will say that is not how it is done.
EC: Can you give a shout out about your next book?
LE: There will be four books in this series. All the characters will be in the books since they will be working together. With that said each book will have two featured characters, the hero and heroine. The next book is titled, Called To Protect and is due out in August. Izzy’s sister Chloe, a K-9 officer and her dog Hank will be featured. The plot has them tracking down a human trafficking ring. Izzy will be in that book consistently.